City of Wanneroo ageing strategy forecasts 65 and over population boom by 2050

The City of Wanneroo's age-friendly strategy supports the Growing Old and Living Dangerously program, which included rock climbing that Alex Duff took part in at Joondalup Climbing Centre. Picture: Martin Kennealey d470302
The City of Wanneroo's age-friendly strategy supports the Growing Old and Living Dangerously program, which included rock climbing that Alex Duff took part in at Joondalup Climbing Centre. Picture: Martin Kennealey d470302

ABOUT 10 per cent of West Australians aged 65 and older live in the City of Wanneroo, according to the council’s age-friendly strategy.

The council recently adopted the strategy as part of its Strategic Community Plan 2017-18 to 2026-27 and an approach to create an place “where older residents feel safe, connected and valued”.

According to the strategy, the City is one of the top five local government areas in WA with the highest number of residents aged over 60.

The City has more than 18,000 residents aged 65 and older, and that number is expected to increase to more than 22,500 by 2020.

“At present, the population over the age of 65 is WA is 346,185 with 10 per cent of older people residing in the City,” it said.

“The combination of population growth and ageing means a projected increase to 16 per cent by 2032 and 18 per cent by 2050.

“Projections by Alzheimer’s WA also shows that in the next 40 years the City of Wanneroo will experience the highest growth in WA in both actual numbers and percentage growth of people affected by dementia.”

Mayor Tracey Roberts said the strategy would help the City become a more age-friendly place to live, work and visit.

“It is important that we begin to lay the foundation now that will ensure we are well-placed to assist our seniors to access the City’s services, amenities, partners and community groups they need in future,” she said.

“It is vital that we have an inclusive community and that our seniors are healthy, active and engaged.”

The strategy includes seven age-friendly principles designed with reference to the plan, the World Health Organisation and community engagement findings.

Those principles cover health and wellbeing, lifelong learning and education, social partnership and connected communities plus economy and economic participation.

They also cover age-friendly environment, transportation and civil engagement and civic leadership.

“The strategy’s main objective is to provide guidance and actions to support the creation of an age-friendly City and identify key priorities and develop ways to support seniors,” it said.

“An age-friendly city encourages active ageing by optimising opportunities for health, participation and security to enhance the quality of life for people as they age.

“It adapts its structures and services to be accessible to and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capabilities.”

The September council report said the City offered a range of services to its older residents through a variety of programs and services including senior forums, the Growing Old and Living Dangerously program, library activities and physical activity programs.

The City undertook consultation in April-October 2016 with about 450 seniors, service providers, carers and family members, representatives of government and non-government organisations, businesses and City employees.

“It is evident through global and local age-friendly forums, as well as the findings form our age-friendly community engagement that the City has a role to play in meeting the needs and aspirations of its ageing population,” the council report said.

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