For Australians to have the choice of growing older at home, here is what needs to change
The population of people aged 65 and over in Australia is projected to grow from 3.7 million to 8.7 million by 2056. Cities, towns and housing need to be designed to help people stay at home as they age. Ageing in place isn’t just about ageing at home. It’s about keeping older people connected to their neighbourhood and community as part of a broader framework of “active ageing”, with the aim of improving their quality of life and giving them more control over their circumstances. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) released its Active Ageing policy framework in 2002, federal governments have endorsed this approach. The 2013 Living Longer Living Better reforms and last year’s Legislated Review of Aged Care promote emotional and mental preparation for old age, which is important for active ageing. However, many aspects of policy in Australia undermine successful ageing in place.