In the past weeks we have been actively raising awareness about the care and contribution of elders in our community. Edmiston Jones sponsored a Property Council briefing session and lunch titled Senior Living in the Illawarra. This was followed last Thursday with an Age Friendly Illawarra Alliance forum promoting a three-year action plan for the region. Mark chairs the steering committee having started the initiative back in 2014.
The gathering of well over 100 people at the Property Council lunch was addressed by Jeremy McKinnon of Macroplan Dimasi who presented statistics confirming that the Illawarra Shoalhaven has a significant proportion of older people compared to the state average. Staggeringly, the numbers of people 70 years of age and older in our region will increase by 40,000 in the next 20 years. This is partly due to the fact that between 1945 and 2010, life expectancy has increased from 70 to 84 years of age.
Inward migration to the area is another factor with the largest movement of seniors to the region from south and south-west Sydney, attracted by the Illawarra Shoalhaven’s comparatively competitive housing market. This underlined the importance of the sale of the family home for seniors as a means to fund retirement.
The Age Friendly Illawarra Alliance forum encouraged business, government and community organisations to work together to drive improvements to social, civic and employment participation by Illawarra Shoalhaven seniors through better access to transport, appropriate housing and support services. The presentations highlighted the importance of better understanding of what it is like to live with cognitive impairment, to reduce stigma and increase social inclusion, particularly for those who suffer from dementia.
Edmiston Jones recognises that buildings are only part of any solution. We are invested and engaged in all aspects of seniors living in the region and will continue to exercise our skills to create communities which are inspiring and enhancing for all ages.