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Blueprint for positive ageing

Members of the abolished Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing have published a document detailing policy options for an ageing Australia.

Blueprint for an Ageing Australia makes proposals surrounding economic development, health, technology, transport, urban design and housing.

National Seniors acting chief executive Sarah Saunders said, “The document highlights that the $8 trillion spent by the over 60s globally will, by 2020, almost double to $15 trillion.

“If Australia embraces the business of ageing, and does it well, the potential to export and capitalise on our knowledge in this area is huge.”

The blueprint focused on the contributions seniors can make in philanthropy, entrepreneurship and the labour market, but held that a dedicated minister for ageing and for enabling environments in transport, building design and technology is necessary to support this.

“Every nation has a choice: you can turn ageing into a crisis or you can turn it into an asset,” blueprint panel chairman Everald Compton said. “The ageing market is a growing industry and astute businesses will want to be part of it.”

Provider Feros Care has applauded the blueprint. “Blueprint for an Ageing Australia is such a visionary document that clearly articulates the need for government to have a broader agenda and policy on using technology, both in residential care and in home care,” Jennene Buckley, chief executive of Feros Care said.

“It’s imperative that we take a modern response that includes the use of smart technologies and digital solutions in new care models,” she said. “Our ageing demographic is changing, coupled with a shrinking workforce. We simply won’t have enough human resources to meet the increased need for care. If we are to assist and support our workforce [in performing] their roles, we will need to adopt technology such as video calls, telehealth and smart home safety installations.”

Buckley said the effective use of emerging technology might depend on the national broadband network’s fibre-to-the-door plan and questioned whether the government’s changes to the NBN would be effective.

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