The ACT Government has launched the Age-Friendly City Plan to support Canberra’s ongoing development as an inclusive city that values the contributions and involvement of older people.
The plan celebrates older Canberrans and their diversity of experience and knowledge and includes a range of initiatives to be implemented over the next four years, designed to support older members of our community.
The focus of the Plan is on practical achievements that address the barriers older Canberrans have said they face in living free from abuse, staying mobile, remaining socially connected and having good access to services.
Some of the actions under the Plan include:
- Piloting a campaign to encourage local business to provide employment opportunities for older Canberrans.
- Introducing legislation that makes elder abuse a criminal offence.
- Implementing a strategy which supports the mental health and well-being of older Canberrans.
- Working to make ACT Government shopfronts and local areas dementia-friendly; and
- Continuing the roll-out of the Age Friendly Suburbs Program.
Around 12.5 per cent of Canberrans are aged over 65 and this is expected to increase over the next decade.
Minister for Seniors and Veterans Gordon Ramsay said that the plan highlights the active role the ACT Government will take to counter elder abuse and ensure Canberra’s services and public infrastructure support older Canberrans.
“Older members of our community are an asset for our city, we can all learn from their knowledge and experience,” Minister Ramsay said.
“They make enormous contributions to our society through caring for family and friends, volunteering, advisory roles and broader community participation.
“In turn, it is our duty to ensure that older Canberrans are acknowledged, heard and cared for and that we adapt our services to suit their needs as their journey through life continues.
“We recognise that this is a challenging time for all in our community, but it is a particularly difficult time for our older Canberrans.
“With that in mind it is of the upmost importance that we lay the foundations and principles which will guide decision making to ensure better outcomes for our elderly.
“Implementation of actions under this Plan rely on collaboration across the ACT Government, with our Commonwealth and state and territory counterparts, and with the community sector to achieve wide-ranging and holistic reforms.
“The ACT has also initiated the Seniors Ministers Roundtable, with representatives from the Commonwealth and States and Territories, the first roundtable will be held later this week,” Minister Ramsay said.