Development of Federation Council’s Ageing Well Strategy - to be formally presented at council’s monthly meeting next Tuesday, May 15 - has been described as “absolutely amazing” by Mayor Pat Bourke.
“I thank council staff and all people involved in this journey,” he said at council’s extraordinary meeting on May 1. “We should look at this for local Government Awards.”
Many months ago when the subject arose, Federation Council’s Director Corporate and Community Services Kristy Kay emphasised the significance of the ageing well strategy subject and that council was looking forward to working with community representatives regarding its development.
At council’s meeting last week, she confirmed the strategy’s significance and just who has been involved.
“The population of the Federation Council area is older and ageing faster than the regional, state and national average,” she said.
“It has one of the highest percentages of people aged over 65 years in the state (at 27% in 2016) and is predicted to continue to increase over the next 20 years (to 36% by 2036).”
Ms Kay advised that preparation of the strategy has involved a steering committee comprising 11 senior ambassadors throughout Federation Council area, literature reviews and data analysis, consultation with 118 senior residents through 12 focus groups, consultations with 23 service providers, a community survey with 239 responses, a review of council’s policies, strategies and plans, development of a background paper and consultation with key council staff.
At council’s latest meeting, a talk was given by consultant Deanne Drage (Inspiring Health Solutions), updating and explaining to councillors about the strategy.
In a well presented strategy delivery, Ms Drage said that everyone involved has been working “very seriously” on what needs to be done. “We need to engage older people to get it right,” she said.
“We’ve had 11 wonderful ambassadors and 239 fantastic responses. There’s been extensive priority setting. But we need to have everyone’s continued involvement to achieve the best results in this four-year plan.”
Ms Kay said the Ageing Well Ambassadors have played a fundamental role in the strategy’s development. “Their contribution has added significant value to the process,” she said.
Finalisation of the four-year Action Plan is underway in consultation with council staff. Ms Kay and her team’s staff Kendall Reid and Amber Harvey, and Cr Gail Law, received special praise for their work.
Councillors joined in the praise of Ms Drage and the strategy. “The document is something we can hang our hat on,” Cr Paul Miegel said.
Some aspects of the strategy, including light exercising, are already in place and proving popular according to Cr Bronwyn Thomas.
In answer to a question from Cr David Longley, Ms Drage admitted some finer details for outlying areas need to be further investigated.