Freo's View

AGEING POPULATION IMPACTS ON ECONOMY

Posted in aged, city of fremantle, economy, health, hospitality, retail, seniors, Uncategorized by freoview on July 23, 2018

 

The media reports that the Western Australian economy has bounced back is positive, but the reasons for the closure of many hospitality outlets and the downturn in retail sales is always only ever explained with internet shopping and the mining bust. Not one expert opinion I have read considers that the fast ageing population is also a reason for people spending less money on non essential items.

Just in Fremantle I know several people whose life has changed since they went on the government pension, because they simply no longer have the money to socialise with friends in pubs and restaurants. Some tell me they can’t even afford to entertain at home, because cooking a meal for friends might cost 50% of the money of their weekly food expenditure.

Many of the pensioners I talk to say they mis no longer going to live theatre plays, concerts and events, because there is not enough money in the kitty, and even going to the hairdresser, especially for women, requires to save it from something else.

A ‘cheap’ $ 20 breakfast or $ 35 dinner in a nice cafe or restaurant are beyond their reach, so they feel on the scrap heap of society, where no one really cares how they are surviving and what their quality of life is.

The government pension does not keep up with the constantly increasing costs of just about everything, but that does not appear to be an issue for our political parties. Once one pays rent, telephone, internet and for the car, there is very little left for food, and hardly ever enough for a meal and glass of wine somewhere nice. Even doctors’ visits need to be kept to a minimum because most GPs don’t bulk bill any more, hence far too many old people use the free service at the emergency departments at our public hospitals.

It is an outrage that many old people live in cold homes in winter because they don’t have enough money to pay for gas and power, and it is an even greater outrage that thousands of people sleep on the streets of our cities.

The very fast ageing of the Australian population is very real, and it does affect the economy, so it is time for our politicians to start preparing for a future where over fifty per cent of the population will be over 60 years old. It is even more tangible and imminent than global warming, so it is time to change the priorities a bit and start looking after our older people a whole lot better.

Roel Loopers

 

Henty's

FREO’S HACC MOVED TO AMANA LIVING

 

Home and Community Care-HACC services previously provided by the City of Fremantle have officially transitioned to Amana Living.

The Fremantle Community Care program provided limited HACC social support services like group activities and excursions and taking people to the shops.

The City decided late last year to transition out of providing HACC services following major changes to the commonwealth government’s aged care funding model.

Amana Living was appointed to take over Fremantle’s services by the WA Department of Health in April following an Expression of Interest process managed by the City. The service transferred to Amana Living on 1 July.

The City worked closely with Amana Living to ensure a seamless transition for Fremantle’s 85 HACC clients.

Everything Fremantle Community Care provided will be exactly replicated with Amana Living.

The transition to Amana Living included a morning tea where clients could get to know Amana Living staff, one-on-one home visits with clients and their families and a special lunch to farewell Fremantle Community Care.

Amana Living was established in 1962 and is one of WA’s largest not-for-profit providers of care and services for older people.

As well as HACC services they also operate residential care centres, housing, respite care, transition care and dementia services, spread across 21 sites in Perth, Australind, Kalgoorlie and Albany.

Roel Loopers

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HOW WILL FREMANTLE DEAL WITH AGEING POPULATION?

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, seniors, Uncategorized by freoview on October 30, 2017

 

The Committee for Perth has released their latest FACTBase research about our ageing population and Fremantle Council better take note off it.

Some of the key findings from the report were:

In 2016, 50% of West Australians were of working age, there were 29 children for every 100 people of working age, and 21 adults aged 65 for over for every 100 people of working age.

The Productivity Commission has predicted that the demographic changes in WA are going to happen so quickly that we will find ourselves in a demographic environment that is entirely unfamiliar to us.

By 2060, it is predicted that 1 in 4 West Australians will be aged over 65 and there will be 25 centenarians for every 100 children aged under one.

Most elderly people ‘age in place’. This could be a significant issue because urban design, transport systems and access to services in outer suburban locations tend to be less suitable for retirees.

A central tenant of delivering positive economic outcomes will be achieved by allowing older people to remain active and valued members of the workforce and the community.

There is currently a shortfall of 3,500 beds for the elderly across Western Australia.

Aged care providers say there needs to be reduction in red tape, so they can manage the demand for their services.

There needs to be more diverse conversations happening across the broader community about the issues and opportunities associated with an ageing population.

The success of delivering positive economic outcomes for ageing West Australians is to innovate, adapt, maximise public sector efficiencies and take advantage of technology to reduce the financial impacts of ageing and capitalise on the opportunities offered by living longer, healthier lives.

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FREO’S DISCONNECT A PRIORITY

Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, seniors, Uncategorized by freoview on October 26, 2017

 

With the election finally over we can now all move on and create an even better Fremantle together.

After talking to many people and monitoring social media, there is no doubt that there is a serious disconnect between the City of Fremantle and the community, and an us and them feeling, as many people feel being left out or ignored.

Mayor Brad Pettitt clearly also picked that up, as his recent blog post indicates.

# There need to be better services in the suburbs, because people in Samson, Hilton and North Fremantle feel they are not cared for and that their rates are spent elsewhere.

# The coordination of social services is a must. Only last week no accommodation could be found for a desperate woman, but there were 30 beds available at 100 Hampton Road that night C0F staff said. That is not acceptable.

# We have a vast ageing population in Australia, and Fremantle already has a higher percentage of seniors than most councils, so they need to be considered more. My suggestions of a Circle of Elders, similar to the Youth Council, has not been taken on so far by Fremantle Council, so not sure what their reluctance is.

# Better communication is essential as the majority of people I talked to while door knocking did not have a clue of what goes on at council, and they also don’t understand the separation between the administration and council and what responsibilities the staff have.

Not communicating with the community means there is a silly dislike of council, and the City of Fremantle is by many seen as the enemy of the community, so how do we connect?

Many people who work at Freo City actually live in our city and are one of us. Our Councillors all live in Fremantle, but for newly elected City Ward Councillor Adin Lang, who lives in Cockburn, but has an office in Freo.

So staff and councillors are not strangers, but part of our community, people we see on our streets and in cafes and shops. That story needs to be told.

Collaborating, networking, brain storming, respectful dialogue, genuine community consultation, better listening and being less cynical are all ways forward to building our future together.

Fremantle is a great place with a great community, and we need to embrace positivity instead of indulging in negativity.

WE CAN DO IT FREO!

Roel Loopers

OLDIES ALSO NEED INNER CITY LIVING

Posted in fremantle, lifestyle, residential, seniors by freoview on July 2, 2015

Talking about higher density is a bit of a no-no in Fremantle, where many in the community believe that high-density automatically means highrise, but we know from European countries that that does not have to be the case and 5-8 storey buildings will do the job and look a whole lot better than massive 20+ storey residential towers that create social issues as well as visual pollution.

Strangely when we talk higher density in Perth we talk about young people and families moving into inner city apartments, but rarely do we hear there is a need for seniors to move there as well and that needs to be addressed by developers and local and state governments.

Research in the USA has found that once seniors who live in the suburbs loose their license and right to drive a car, the public transport systems fail them and older people often become hermits without a social life, because they have to depend on friends and family to drive them around, so there is a need for them to relocate closer to the inner city.

The problem though is that inner city rents are quite a bit higher than those in the burbs, so how can seniors afford to live there? Whilst I absolutely understand the need for privacy I believe we need to find a new and cheaper way of accommodating seniors and other on low incomes, be that with one bedroom flats or bedsitters and shared use of kitchen(s), laundry and communal dining rooms, and maybe even gophers.

With a fast ageing population in Australia we need to find creative ways in dealing with what could become a serious issue in the near future. That might well mean that we need to accept that we don’t all need to have our own washing machine and stuff we only use once every ten days or so, and that sharing is cheaper and reduces the need for individual laundries, dining areas and kitchens in each and every apartment. I know I would be a huge compromise and change in lifestyle and thinking, and I am not even sure I would like it for myself, but it could be a way of finding solutions to deal better with an ageing population.

Roel Loopers

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