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Tasmania’s ageing population will present challenges and opportunities. Tasmania’s population is ageing at a faster rate than other states and territories, and has the highest proportion of the population aged over 65 years at almost 100,000 people or 19.3% of the population. Of all Australian states and territories, Tasmania has the highest median age of 42 years.
A new report entitled Embracing the Future, Tasmanians Ageing Profile Part 1 is the first publication in a series of reports that provide current data about older Tasmanians. The report provides a good evidence base for Tasmania to plan for an ageing population. The report states that population ageing is a global phenomenon and Tasmania is leading Australia in this trend.
The Government’s Strong, Liveable Community: Tasmanian Active Ageing Plan 2017-2022 builds on previous strategies to create a Tasmania for older people that is the best place to live and work. To support active ageing in Tasmania, the Council on the Ageing (COTA) is receiving funding to help implement initiatives under the Active Ageing Plan. The Embracing the Future report is one of the projects that will assist, as it draws together current data on older Tasmanians to inform government, community and business in Tasmania.
Older Tasmanians have a diverse wealth of knowledge and experience and can help build a more inclusive and vibrant Tasmania, to support social and economic growth. Due to advances in health care and quality of life, getting older is a positive thing, but requires the community, including Government, to plan for the changing needs of the Tasmanian population.
Active Ageing is about seizing opportunities to acquire new skills and knowledge and maintaining our health to enjoy all life has to offer. As Embracing the Future emphasises, older Tasmanians participate and greatly contribute to their communities in a range of ways including sharing knowledge with younger generations, caring for children and grandchildren and economic productivity.
Embracing the Future will help us plan for our ageing population to ensure the needs of all older Tasmanians are supported, and fully engaged in their communities.