Age Friendly Community Project

An age-friendly community is one which:

  • Recognises the great diversity among older people
  • Promotes their inclusion and contribution in all areas of community life
  • Respects their decisions and lifestyle choices, and
  • Anticipates and responds flexibly to ageing-related needs and preferences

The Shire of Waroona, in collaboration with the Shire of Murray, was successful in receiving funding from the Department of Local Government and Communities to implement an Age-Friendly Community strategy.

With an estimated population of nearly 4,000 people within the Shire of Waroona, 20.7% or 829 residents are aged over 60 years, a number significantly higher than the state average. The value of such a strategy is recognised in order to support the community with expected short and long term benefits.

The Shires of Waroona and Murray are engaging with local residents and service providers to identify and address factors that contribute to our communities being more age-friendly. The working group behind this strategy is well represented by the Shire of Waroona community, including councillors, progress groups and community members from Waroona, Hamel, Lake Clifton and Preston Beach, and local organisations such as Quambie Park and Waroona Community Resource Centre.

SURVEYS AND COMMUNITY PLAN

Throughout May and June, both Shires invited local residents over the age of 60 years to complete a short survey, and participate in a community forum. The eight key areas explored were outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, volunteering and employment, communication and information, and community health and services. The results of these activities will be compiled to identify the age-friendly features and barriers, and suggestions for improvements in relation to the Shire’s local physical and social environment, with the aim of becoming a more age-friendly community. An Age-Friendly Community Plan will be produced that will provide age-friendly priority projects and areas of focus for each Shire for the period of 2016-2020.

WORKING GROUP

An Age-Friendly Community Working Group has been established with representatives from all localities in the two shires. The purpose of this group is to provide a forum and opportunity for community members and local stakeholders to be able to provide recommendations and feedback with regard to the development, implementation, ongoing monitoring and review of the Age-Friendly Community Plan. It will also remain a forum to consider a range of issues and discuss opportunities that will aid older people to age well in the Shires.

For more information, please contact Brad Vitale – Community Development Officer on (08) 9733 7800 or cdo@waroona.wa.gov.au