Taking care of aged

THE transport and housing needs of an aging Clarence Valley population are two of the critical issues identified in a draft strategy to be considered by a Clarence Valley Council committee today.

The draft document sets out policy guidelines to help meet the needs of an aging population until 2020.

The report was prepared by the council's social planning and cultural development officer Susan Howland who said there was a risk the council would not be prepared for a rapidly changing population if the strategies outlined were not adopted.

Some of the issues identified, she said, could not be achieved without additional resources.

They included the provision of appropriate outdoor infrastructure, the development of appropriate transport options, additional support for an affordable housing project to investigate and promote a range of living arrangements for older people and culturally appropriate supported housing for indigenous elders.

The draft also suggests investigating the possibility of a volunteer-based home-maintenance service for older people who are ineligible for a subsidised service and the development of a database of retired people's skills and knowledge that could be used for project advice and advisory groups.

"Access to information is one of the top priorities of community members and many people requested regular forums on topics associated with positive aging, particularly new residents," the report said.

"The actions set out in the draft positive aging strategy will have a positive impact on the economic well-being of the community by increasing the opportunities for older people to participate in the workforce as well as community events and expanding the business opportunities for appropriate housing, aged care and recreation and leisure services.

"The draft will provide opportunities for improved community health and well-being across a broad cross-section of the community and will deliver healthy physical activities tailored for older people.

"Creative culture and recreation opportunities will be expanded along with improved access to information."

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