Directions for South Australia – Dynamic Ageing

“Let’s ensure older South Australians are given the respect they deserve and services they need without compromising their independence, dignity or safety.” – Kelly Vincent MLC

Introduction:

The United Nations Principles for Older Persons, adopted in 1991, encourages Governments to incorporate principles aimed at independence, participation, care, self-fulfilment and dignity into their national programs.

In summary, these include:

  • Independence, that is access to basic needs, health care, work, education programs, the right to live at home as long as possible in supportive, safe environments.
  • Participation in social activities and opportunities to share their knowledge and skills with their community.
  • Care that maintains their optimum level of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and includes access to social and legal services.
  • Self-fulfilment to realise their potential and access educational, cultural, spiritual and recreational resources.
  • Dignity, that is to be treated fairly, to be valued in their own right, to live in dignity and security, to be free of exploitation, physical and mental abuse, to be able to exercise personal autonomy.

Echoing these principles Dignity Party appreciates the contribution that older people make to South Australian society and the tremendous diversity in the situation of older persons in SA, requiring a variety of policy responses.

People are reaching old age in greater numbers and in better health than ever before, and scientific research is disproving many stereotypes about inevitable and irreversible declines with age.

SA has the second oldest median age of all states and territories (40) and nearly 304,000 people aged 65 and over.  This number is expected to rise by 56% by 2050.

Dignity Party believes that in a state characterised by an increasing number and proportion of older citizens, opportunities must be provided for many older people to participate in and contribute to the ongoing activities of society.

Dignity Party believe that Universal Design principals should be followed in all new developments so as to future proof our state for our aging population. Dignity Party support the development of grants for home modification, so that people can remain in their own homes for longer as they age. Dignity Party support community groups action on falls prevention.

At the same time families need support for carers of frail older persons.

Action:

Dignity Party believe that in South Australia we must be:

  • Maximising the economic, social and political participation of older people and challenging ageism. Dignity supports policies and programs that encourage and facilitate the inclusion of seniors in all aspects of life.
  • Promoting positive views of ageing, rejecting ageism and challenging negative stereotypes. Dignity supports initiatives that recognise the capacities and contributions of seniors and actively combat age discrimination.
  • Redressing disadvantage and discrimination. Dignity believes that all people have the right to dignity, to security, to access high quality services, and to participate equally in the community regardless of their income, status, background, location or any other social or economic factor.
  • Protecting and extending services and programs that are used and valued by older people. These include primary health care, hospitals, hydrotherapy, pharmaceuticals, employment services, utilities, public transport, residential care, housing and community care.
  • More equitable access to, and improved consumer choice, quality, and long term sustainability of aged care and health services for older people.
  • Strategies to house older people, liveable housing, universal design, retirement living options, appropriate public housing stock and affordable rents.
  • Adequate retirement incomes, equitable concessions and sustainable superannuation policies.
  • Mature age employment, and Workcover reform.
  • Affordable essential services.
  • Effective and equitable provision of services to older people in regional, rural and remote areas.

Dignity Party endeavour to not only advocate for the above policy points, but wants to see a fairer, more inclusive South Australia, that is properly designed for all of us.