Age Friendly Project

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Age Friendly KiamaYounger lady sitting with older lady on lounge

World population is experiencing an increasing predominance of older age groups, as birth rates fall below replacement rates and people live longer.  This change is increasingly affecting all aspects of government, economies, business and service provision.

Kiama Local Government Area population is also experiencing this growth in the proportion of residents 65 and over, as demonstrated in the graph and tables below.

These significant changes present all sectors of the community with the challenge and the opportunity to adapt so that we can better serve our changing community, clients and customers.

 

Kiama LGA 2010

Age Group as % total pop

W.H.O. age group estimates for World pop   2010    

0-14 yrs

16.9%

16.9%

65+ yrs

19.1%

20.2%

 

Projected Populations in 2025[1]

  Kiama NSW Australia World
0-14 yos 15.8% 17.4% 18% 21%
65+ yos 26.9% 18.9% 18.4% 16.6%

The decline in the 0-14 age groups and significant growth of older age groups is evident with intercensal change:

Changing Growth of Age Groups 2001 Intercensal % growth 2006 Intercensal % growth 2011
0-14yo 4,123 -13.5%[1] 3,567 -2.4% 3,482
65+yo 3,232 7.5% 3,475 16.5% 4,047
Total LGA Pop 18,773 1.1% 18,985 4.9% 19,916

Some local implications are already evident:

  • 17% ratepayers currently receive pensioner rebates, this has the potential to increase significantly over the next couple of decades.
  • Community tension in response to Age Friendly accommodation developments
  • Growing demand on Council's care and support services
  • Kiama LGA ratio of General Practitioner (full time equivalent) to population in 2012 = 1GP:2,078 persons compared to NSW average of 1,237 people per GP and Australian rate of 1,277 persons per GP (FTE).  Kiama also has the highest GP: population in Illawarra.
  • Increasing pressure on Council income sources and service provision expenditure at all levels as Council seeks to respond to community expectations that the public environment, facilities and Council services better support a healthy, active ageing

Kiama Council taking a fresh look at its age friendliness

Kiama Council was successful in receiving funding to identify potential issues for Council as the proportion of residents and visitors who are 65+ years of age, increases steadily over the next 15-20 years.  The project aimed to:

  • Consult with the various Council Departments  and facilitate the identification of potential impacts or issues for future service provision, relating to active ageing
  • Recognise the current range of  Council's Age-Friendly service practices in current operations
  • Consult  with current and future older residents on the Age Friendliness of their  community  and issues for management to maximise older residents? participation in a full community life
  • Integrate internal and external consultation findings
  • Identify options for longer term integration of Age-Friendly strategies and activities into Council's integrated planning documents.

The steps in this process were:

  1. Information:  Inform all staff and public on project purpose, goals, significance and relevance to their work & lives.
  2. Engagement: Work with staff, public and other government & non-government  agencies  to undertake impact identification
  3. Baseline Establishment: Recognise current Age Friendliness in Council's existing operations and services
  4. Consultation: groups and individuals on Age Friendliness of communities
  5. Documentation of long term goals for strategic change.

Click here (PDF 1.7MB) to go to the Kiama Age Friendly Project Report

This information is now available to Council staff to assist in their ongoing age friendliness reviews of current and proposed services and activities.

Achievements and goals for change to improve the age friendliness of Council operations will be reported to Council as an integrated part of Council's Community Strategic Plan review.