Action and AdvocacyActive AgeingAged CareAgeing in PlaceAgeism and Discrimination

COTA (WA) ran a mini survey during the Care and Ageing Expo 2019, at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, to get a snapshot of the views and experiences of the older Australian’s who attended over the weekend.

The following is a short presentation of some of the key findings, in the style of the State of the (Older) Nation survey of 2018.

The Typical Attendee at the Care and Ageing Expo 2019

The ‘typical’ person who participated over the weekend was someone who is 66 years of age, owns their own home and is receiving some form of Australian pension.

Those at the expo told us further about a number of issues that are impacting their lives, under a number of key themes:

Age-Discrimination

“I feel that I have to work doubly hard to prove myself, my qualifications just aren’t valued.”
“People seem to look right through you.”

Over 60% of people also felt discriminated against, in one way or another based upon their age. This was most pronounced in the area of employment, with 26% reporting discrimination seeking work or in the workplace.

Ageing in Place

“I’ve been dismissed as insignificant, and told I must be compliant.”

Overall, about a third of people felt that they were unable to modify their place to meet their needs as they age. This was either due to personal or financial barriers relating to accessing affordable home modifications or landlord and lease arrangements that prevented such modification.

Access and Inclusion

“Life is good but I have to work at it.”

Those who discussed with us their feelings of inclusion in their local community, suggested that they faced barriers to accessing services, activities and resources for ageing well.

Approximately 62% of people told us they were unable to access meaningful volunteering opportunities, with a further 58% considering aged care information difficult access.

From our ongoing conversations, including the submission we made for the Women’s Plan, we’ve seen how age-discrimination and exclusion impact the lives of our older population as a whole. The views expressed to us over the space of a short weekend at the Care and Ageing expo, now add further support to the focus of key policy areas and our continuing submissions to Government.

As the voice of older Western Australians, we’ll continue to advocate on those issues that are important to you.