Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Seizing the benefits of growing older

13 October 2011

NSW Minister for Ageing, Andrew Constance, has highlighted the benefits and opportunities of growing older at an educational forum held at Customs House, Circular Quay, this morning.

Speaking at The University of the Third Age’s annual event, Mr Constance said there were currently about one million people in NSW who are 65 years or older and this figure is projected to grow rapidly in the coming decades.

“The contribution older people make through volunteering, mentoring, other community-based activities and in the workplace is immense – and the reality is many are enjoying more healthy and active lives than previous generations,” Mr Constance said.

“Organisations like the University of the Third Age recognise this fact.”
“The University provides older people the opportunity to broaden their horizons, be involved with new learning experiences and to share skills and knowledge in such fields as art, languages, music, history, life sciences, philosophy, computing, photography and bush walking.”

“This is an important contribution to social inclusion and it provides opportunities to keep people’s minds and bodies active.”

“That is why the O’Farrell Government has honoured its pre-election commitment to support the University by providing funding of $130,000 over four years to establish further groups in regional areas and support its forums and conferences.”

The NSW Government is also providing supports and services to help older people make the most of their lifestyles - in 2011-12; $10 million has been committed for such initiatives as:
  • Positive Ageing Grants - to support positive ageing initiatives that strengthen communities, contribute to an aged-friendly culture and maximise opportunities for older people to remain active, socially connected and engaged.
  • Seniors Card - to provide government-funded transport concessions and a range of travel and business discounts, including books, magazines, computers and events. There are now one million card-holders across NSW.
  • Seniors Week - to celebrate the achievements and contributions of older NSW residents.
  • Premier’s concerts - to thank seniors for their ongoing contributions to family, workplaces and communities.
  • Grandparents Day - to recognise the invaluable role grandparents have in families, enriching the lives of their grandchildren and other children in the community by providing care, mentoring and stability.
“We are also working towards our election commitment to implement a Whole-of-Government Ageing Strategy,” Mr Constance said.

“An Ageing Roundtable was held at Parliament House last month to discuss a range of issues including social inclusion, health and well-being, housing, transport, intergenerational activities, mature workers, volunteering and attitudes to ageing and the aged.”

“As a result, a discussion paper is being developed.”

“We need to make sure older people are not only able to take the lead in enhancing their own lives, but also actively participate in improving the communities they live in.”

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