The inaugural State of the (Older) Nation  report, from Council of the Ageing (COTA) based on interviews with more than 2,500 Australians aged 50 or more, is vital picture of  a group that’s already almost a third of our population.  COTA aims to produce the report annually to monitor trends, and impacts of changes for older people.

Highlights of the report include:

  • 80% of older Australians feel younger than their age
  • 46% feel less valued than when they were younger
  • Health is the main factor affecting older Australians’ quality of life
  • 84% support legislation for assisted dying
  • More than a quarter (28%) of those in paid employment want more
  • One in 5 have experienced employment-related age discrimination
  • 29% of working older Australians don’t expect they’ll ever retire
  • 12% are struggling with overdue bills
  • More than half do unpaid work weekly, including volunteering and caring
  • Dental services were the most difficult to access for older Australians

The report quantifies key issues for older people around Australia in relation to employment, age discrimination, cost of living, financial security, health, aged care, housing, life planning, consumer rights and transport.
It tells us that most older Australians believe they have a good quality of life yet significant numbers including many renters, say they are not coping with the rising cost of living.

COTA has called on all sides of politics to commit to a long-term national strategy to address older people’s needs – including increasing rent assistance by 40%, taking a whole-of-government approach to services for older people, and improving access to oral and dental health services for older people. Full report here