Living and ageing well looks different for everyone, and it changes as we get older. Friends, community, activities, services and support play a significant role in helping us live fully at home.
Attributes of Ageing Well
In research released by the Commissioner for Senior Victorians in 2020, eight attributes of ageing well including respect, social engagement, financial and personal security, health autonomy and mobility. Key findings from this research which involved more than 5000 respondents included:
70% experienced some level of satisfaction with their quality of life as they aged, but significant numbers felt isolated, disconnected and disempowered. Factors reducing quality of life included the cost of engaging in activities (43%) and ageism and disrespect (28%).
More than 40% said they were lonely, with one in five saying they lacked the “love and friendship” they wanted. Loneliness was consistently reported, regardless of gender, age and location.
28% ranked ageism and disrespect the factor most diminishing their quality of life –the same result recorded for feeling unsafe in public places.
Seniors reported “digital discrimination”, with many struggling to access health, support and other services online. A good reason for effective local, digital literacy support – so ask us at Clunes Neighbourhood House or the local library about support!
Being able to get around was a major determinant of quality of life, with 92% of seniors rating personal mobility as critical to health, social wellbeing and independence. Seniors wanted more community transport and initiatives such as dedicated seniors carparking.
Improving Lives - what it could mean locally?
Clunes recent Transport survey may not have had that many respondents (although we had an impressive 75 people share their thoughts – so thank you!) but it echoed the Commissioner’s findings. 75.9% of respondees said their lives would be improved if they could get around better. Furthermore, they indicated that getting around wasn’t just about cars, buses or trains, it was also about the location of footpaths, the quality of footpaths and even access to mobility scooter repairs!
Following a recent meeting hosted by the Clunes Men’s Shed four community-led teams have been formed to help us advocate to better meet transport needs in Clunes. One team is looking at footpaths, another is helping rollout out a weekly swimming bus (visit www.clunesnh.org to find out more). A third team is working out how to advocate for disability bus services and another is working with Central Highlands Rural Health and Clunes Neighbourhood House to better leverage the local medical appointments car. Why the last one? Because of those who responded, more people used transport to go to medical appointments than they did to socialise!
If you are interested in being involved in any of these or following our journey visit www.clunesnh.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Article: as featured in the CTDA newsletter