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Sunday
Jul312011

Aged Care Strategy

While in Martinborough, I picked up on a US sourced story that appeared in the Wairarapa Times (another Fairfax publication) that drew attention to strategies being adopted in that country to ease problems arising from the burgeoning baby boomer and post baby boomer population.

The subject is topical here because Cr Hoadley appears to have chosen to take on the role of preparing an Aged Care Strategy for this district, though getting a hand on the paper she prepared for the recent Community Board meeting proved futile. I was told over and over that “it is only a draft” – so?

This is a thoroughly commendable initiative on Cr Hoadley’s part, and it will be interesting to see what emerges, just as long as it does not involve ratepayer commitment to the provision of new pensioner housing as our Councillor appeared to be suggesting a couple of months ago.

The article picked up on a number of initiatives being taken in US communities that may be interesting as far as the local Draft Strategy is concerned. Amongst these are efforts to have grocery stores provide public toilets – a rarity in the US, and to sell single portions of meat, poultry and fish (and packaged vegetables).

Work to combat social isolation is under way in many cities – this has had a huge impact on just how many years people survive, and how well they live.

As an aside, an article in the 23 July edition of the ‘Listener’ provided an excellent lead on the establishment of ‘Men’s’ Sheds’ – what a great idea, and how appropriate one of these facilities would be in this community where there seems a plethora of activities and facilities aimed at women in particular. Women tend to involve themselves in a great deal more social interaction than men, and that may explain a great deal about why they tend to live longer.

A shed may be just the ticket to get an aging male population out of the home, and into vital and productive activity. The cost would be minimal – the Australian Government has come to the party with several million dollars for grants. Blogs after all don’t do it for everyone!

The US article goes on to point out that cities and suburbs were designed for younger people, full of stairs and cars – they become increasingly difficult to navigate, and older people retreat. Philadelphia has the oldest population of the United States’ 10 largest cities, with 19 per cent of its residents over 60, and many multi story apartments where residents are stuck on one floor. Zoning codes are being redesigned to overcome these problems.

The article was US oriented, but many of the problems outlined are as relevant in our town. Simple measures could certainly be taken to make it more liveable for the elderly without compromising the un-ceasing demand for measures to achieve more sustainable economic development.

Just get on with it Wyn – we support you efforts - it needs leadership, and you are the one to provide it.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

Councils need to stick to the basics of Councils. Welfare is handled by Govt otherwise we get too many snouts in the trough. With equal availability to all organisations I fail to see why you should not become a member of the "Womens Institute" or a patchwork group so in fact there is PLENTY to do! If there appears to be nothing for the blokes I believe in fact that when many men retire they even retire their brain! What men need is lots of human looking robots who will react to the hours of drivel of "when I was a boy....." type of conversation. Also weaker springs on the handle of the Pokie Machines would make it easier for some old codgers. As for me? Sorry too busy.Everything takes twice as long so I haven't got enough time in the day.

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Feran

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