The new generation of older people is looking for individualised programs that will enable them to age independently in their own homes and stay connected with their local communities.
They are looking for a broader and more sophisticated range of volunteer roles and increased access to community-based learning opportunities – and they expect local government to provide the answers.
Current social support and community participation programs are over-subscribed and unable to meet the needs of older people who are increasingly socially isolated.
ERA has proposed development of a new model of regional community care that increases choice and control and enables more active engagement in community.
The proposed new model would:
expand the range of opportunities and experiences available for older people;
work in partnership with the Australian Centre for Social Innovation and the proposed Wellbeing Institute incorporating the work of Dr Martin Seligman;
support the training and professional development of a new generation of care workers;
enable older people, as volunteer mentors, advisers and trainers, to work alongside TAFE SA and ERA staff to help design and deliver the required training;
meaning that careworkers would be able to respond flexibly and creatively to the needs of this new generation of educated and demanding baby boomers.
The project is consistent with the directions of the Productivity Commission’s report into Caring for Older Australians and the Commonwealth’s Living Longer Living Better policy, which both confirm the importance of independence, choice, connection and participation for older people.