Like many countries across the globe, Australia is ageing rapidly. Statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that in 2016, 1 in 7 people were aged 65 and over, with this trend expected to continue. In 2056, it is expected that there will be more than 8.7 million Australians aged 65 and over (22% of the population) and by 2096 this figure will be as high as 12.8 million (25%).
An ageing population is to be expected in a developed country with a small and relatively healthy population that has access to a first-rate hospital system which delivers a high life expectancy. However, what is really interesting, and somewhat alarming from an economics perspective, is the change that this will have on the country’s age profile. This is where it becomes clear just how much support from both the Government and private sector is required to meet future challenges.
In 2016, 13% of the Australian population was aged 85 and over. By 2046, this will have increased to 19%, which equals roughly 1 in 5 Australians. The support required to provide older Australians with the standard of living they deserve will be a massive challenge and the Government and the private sector needs to act now to prepare for what is sure to be one of our country’s greatest challenges ever.
More local hospitals and in-home services that enable older Australians to stay in their homes for longer are going to be in short supply unless the work required to put this infrastructure in place commences now. But there’s more to supporting an ageing population than health care and medical services alone, as what an ageing population also needs is community and the social support it delivers.
Without the interaction that community provides, older Australians won’t enjoy a high standard of living and that’s where over 50s lifestyle communities like Affinity enter the picture. The ability to stay in one’s own home for longer, access outstanding in-home care services and enjoy the company of friends in one’s age group will provide the standard of living that all Australians deserve.