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With the recent release of the IGR, The Centre of Optimism said findings should be taken positively.

IGR: an optimistic view

Last week’s Intergenerational Report (IGR) release projected Australia’s population to age over the next 40 years – and it’s not a problem.

Chief of The Centre for Optimism Victor Perton said it was essential to recognise the future of ageing as an opportunity to “tap into a vast human reservoir of wisdom, experience, and optimism”.

“While media coverage has predominantly focused on the challenges associated with ageing, it’s essential to shed light on the many positive aspects of this demographic shift,” Mr Perton said.

“Older people bring a treasure trove of knowledge, experience, and a unique brand of optimism.”

“This optimism is not mere cheerfulness; it’s a profound understanding of the human potential that underpins innovation and resilience, driving our society forward.”

The number of people over 85 is estimated to triple to more than 3.5 million people by 2062-63.

In the next 40 years, the number of Australians aged over 65 is expected to more than double.

The IGR reported the Australian Government’s spending in the aged-care sector will increase from today’s 1.1 per cent to 2.5 per cent in 2062-63 with an estimated $140 billion.

“The ageing of Australia’s population is not a challenge but a positive opportunity,” Mr Perton said.

“By tapping into our elder’s wisdom, experience, and optimistic outlook, we can forge a stronger, more inclusive, and more prosperous future for everyone.”

Mr Perton said the future of older Australians played a vital role in bridging the generational divide and cultivating intergenerational relationships.

Intergenerational relationships were proven to be impactful for all individuals involved.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed that over half of the residents living in aged care showed signs of depression. 

Promoting intergenerational relationships through programs may help to counter adverse mental health effects, with research showing promising results.

Mr Perton said older Australians’ commitment in bonding and uniting communities make them “an indispensable part of our social fabric”.

“By acknowledging and celebrating the positive contributions that older people make to society, including their age-fostering optimism that fuels innovation and resilience, we pave the way for a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all ages.”

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