We often hear that an ageing population is going to be a burden. Viewing older people through the prism of health and disability ignores their continuing contribution to society. The 2015 Intergenerational Report talks of the ‘three Ps’ – population, participation and productivity. But where is the fourth P – policy?
Emily Millane discusses the issues of ageism, employment and social participation in a percapita report. She asks, where is the fourth P, policy, and argues we need policies to overcome age discrimination in all its forms. This includes the design of public spaces, parks and streets. Urban design plays an important role here. It needs to capture all ages and foster interaction between generations. This strategy might be easier than changing community attitudes in the short term.
Older people are considered lesser value than others – something highlighted by the Royal Commission into Aged Care. COVID brought forth words such as ‘vulnerable’ and applied them only to older people and people with disability. By perpetuating the idea of being less capable or being a burden on society affects attitudes that are hard to shift.
The report is titled, Spaces for All Ages: policies for an inclusive Australia.
This report follows on from The head, The Heart and The House.