Nearly a third of our population is aged 50 or over. The State of the Older Nation report quantifies the key issues for older people around Australia in relation to employment, age discrimination, cost of living, financial security, health, home and aged care, housing, later life planning, consumer rights and transport.
The report found that the majority of older Australians feel a decade younger than their current age, they overwhelmingly support assisted dying legislation, and nearly half of them feel less valued by society than when they were younger. Access to health services and the rising cost of living were also raised as key issues in the report, particularly for vulnerable older Australians.
It tells us that most older Australians believe they have a good quality of life. However, it also identifies a significant number of older people who are not coping with the rising cost of living – many of whom are renting and facing challenges to pay bills. This group feels left behind or discriminated against, and action is urgently needed, particularly to address the needs of vulnerable older people.
COTA has called on all sides of politics to commit to a long-term national strategy to address the needs of older people – including increasing rent assistance by 40%, taking a whole-of-government approach to services for older people, and improving access to oral and dental health services for older people.
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