Written by Stannah at 28th November 2016

Australia’s Ageing Population

Elderly People are Living Longer

Life expectancy has increased by over 20 years since the turn of the twentieth century.  This is great it means that we will be able to experience more than the generations that came before us. Now it is considered to be just over 80 years for both men and women. With this increasing longevity elderly are experiencing more chronic health problems than previous generations. We need to find a way to deal with this so that those over their 80’s can continue to enjoy life. How do we do this as we continue to care for an increasingly ageing population? We want to find the answers because we are not too far behind them.

 

ageing population

Extended family smiling and kissing in a park on a sunny day

Community is Important to Everyone

Everyone has heard the saying that “it takes a village to raise a child” this can equally be used in regards to taking care of the elderly. The elderly need the community to continue to be engaged in life and stay young. However, they need our help to do this. They took care of us when we were young and now it is our turn to return the favour.

Families Take the Responsibility

Typically families have taken on the role of caring for those who need care.  In Australia like in many countries in the developed world caring for the elderly has fallen to a family member and this has usually been the role of women in the 45–64 age group. We need to do more to support these carers because they do such vital and often unrecognised work as they seek to keep elderly in their home.

We Need to Care for the Carers

Who however, will care for those who have no family to take care of them? There is a great need for caring and committed people in the aged care and disability field. People consider it more than a job. Workers, who are valued, empowered and upskilled are more able to react to the ever changing aged care and disability environments. Work in both the aged care and disability fields have the potential to provide exceptionally rewarding work. While it can at times be both physically and mentally exhausting. They love seeing the difference they can make every day in the people’s lives with whom they work

Seniors Can Stay in their Homes with Assistance

The government provides services that assist the elderly to remain in their own homes. These include home cleaning, outdoor maintenance, personal care, meals and transport. However, children of the elderly or those responsible for them need also to be taking proactive steps to make the whole house more accessible. This may involve installing grab rails in the bathroom and toilet, installing a bath seat in the shower or a seat over the toilet and installing non-slip mats in both the bath and shower.

Accessibility Is the Primary Issue

However, the most fundamental need is access to the property. This is where installation of a stairlift would prove quite useful. There are stairlifts available for both indoor and outdoor use. So access to a second storey need no longer be an issue.

A Long Life Doesn’t Guarantee Health

People today view the thought of a longer life with ambivalence. This is because although modern medicine has been able to manage more effectively chronic diseases it has not been able to increase our health into our later years. We need to find ways to deal with these health issues while assisting those in later years to remain an active part of our communities.

If you would like to know more about the ageing population in Australia, please consider the articles below.

A Much More Optimistic View of Old Age

Passing on the Burden of Ageing Population

Ageing Population Means We Must Find and Retain More Carers

Australia’s Ageing Population – What Are the Key Issues and Methods of Analysis