Supporting access to infrastructure, facilities, activities and appropriate services for people as they age is the goal of Coffs Harbour City Council’s ‘Draft Positive Ageing Strategy 2020-2024’, which is out for community input from May 18 to June 15 2020.
“Age is very much just a number. Whatever their age, everyone should be treated as an individual and as a valuable, and valued, member of our community,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Denise Knight. “Older residents make an enormous contribution to our community on so many levels, whether it’s caring for grandchildren, volunteering, sharing knowledge and expertise or just showing the rest of us how to enjoy life well. This strategy aims to help provide them with the means for them to continue to enjoy life to the fullest.”
Consultation on the draft Strategy has been ongoing since 2018. It has included written and online surveys of seniors, focus groups and a Stakeholder Consultation Group. The Council of the Ageing (COTA) conducted consultation with the older residents in the Coffs Harbour area in 2018. Their findings were shared with Council and contributed to further understanding of the most important issues for older people.
This research and consultation phase of the Strategy identified a series of key issues affecting older people in our community. Highlights include:
- Maintaining ageing workers as active and productive participants in the local economy by increasing the options available to remain in the workforce;
- Increasing cultural diversity of the the whole community results in an increasingly diverse set of needs in our older population
- Providing effective services for people who wish to age well in place;
- Maintaining and growing the infrastructure and housing supply to cater for the expanding older population; and
- Management of chronic disease is an increasing burden with 87% of people aged 65 years and over having at least one chronic disease.
These issues have significant and far-reaching consequences for older people and the community and organisations which support them. The purpose of the Positive Ageing Strategy is to ensure that Council is making substantive steps towards ensuring that the needs of older people are understood and considered as a routine aspect of Council business.
To view the full ‘Draft Positive Ageing Strategy 2020-2024’ report, or to provide your comments and ideas, go to haveyoursay.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au Submissions will be welcomed until June 15 2020 at 5pm.