HAA position papers are centred around our strategic direction and the seven key issues identified.
- The Environment – including public spaces, transport, and access for people with disabilities
- Appropriate housing – Including social housing, communal housing, and emergency housing
- Elder abuse – awareness, assessment, and prevention
- Health services – particularly the assessment and management of dementia and chronic diseases
- Social isolation – securely identify isolated older people and provide for their physical and psychological well-being
- Ageing and aged care services information – ensuring accessibility
- End-of-life legal planning and health care – ensuring availability to all.
Ageing and aged care services information
Planning for Later Older Age
One issue I hear repeatedly is the difficulty older people have learning about, and accessing all kinds of services and support. The result is that older people experience unsupported decline and have difficulty negotiating care either in the home or residential aged care. This is especially challenging for older people with no support network.
Active, Stronger, Better – Hunter exercise program for older people
A recent article in The Lancet Healthy Longevity states that the failure of health systems to incorporate exercise programs into the health care of older people is “an example of medical, scientific and pharmaceutical industry failures to appreciate exercise’s major role as a therapeutic agent to prevent and treat both disease and loss of functional capacity”. To this, we could add that the failure of government at all levels to provide facilities for physical activity for older people is a major contributor to premature ageing and reduction in quality of life.
Assessing and managing dementia in the Hunter
The current prevalence of dementia in the LGAs of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens is about 6000, with an incidence of around 500 new cases per year. Currently, one in ten Australians over the age of 65 are living with dementia and one in eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders over the age of 45. The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) have predicted an almost doubling of the incidence of dementia in the next twenty years.
Housing for Older People
Australia faces a massive problem providing suitable housing for older people. We have few options now, let alone to provide for the increase of 50% of people over 65 by 2035.