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Housing older Australians needs to be priority to avoid pain later

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The Retirement Living Council (RLC) is calling for a renewed focus on retirement villages as a key housing solution to cater for Australia’s ageing population following the release of fresh ABS figures.

National figures released this month reveal the fastest growing age cohort is between 75 and 79 years old.

RLC executive director Daniel Gannon said Australia’s three tiers of government needed to address and solve the challenges associated with housing this demographic cohort now.

“With an annual growth rate of 6.6%, the 75–79-year-old age group significantly out paces all other demographics with an overall growth rate of 2.4%,” he explained.

“Over the next two decades, the number of Australians over 75 will increase from two million to 3.4 million people, which will have socio-economic impacts on the nation.

“Given the housing and care challenges associated with Australia’s demographic outlook, we need age-friendly solutions to a problem that will only get harder.”

housing

Mr Gannon said governments needed to better understand the potential benefits of injecting more supply of age-friendly communities into the market.

“Retirement villages across the country save the commonwealth government a billion dollars every year as Australia’s population continues to rapidly age,” he added.

“They achieve this through better designed homes that minimise trips and falls, which means residents can experience fewer visits to the GP, shorter hospital stays and delayed entry to aged care.

“All of this reduced interaction with doctors and hospitals releases capacity back into health systems for those who need it most, when they need it most.

“Encouraging and facilitating more seniors into retirement communities carries the added benefit of freeing up traditional housing stock for singles, couples, new and growing families. 

“Building better housing can lead to better health outcomes for consumers and governments alike, but we need to ensure regulatory, legislative and investment conditions are helping this ambition, not hindering it.”

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