The COTA SA 2017-18 budget submission is meant to encourage the South Australian Government to partner with older people and fund initiatives that actively involve them in the development of design, research and innovation in the State.
“We are getting a very clear message from older South Australians that being part of an occasional conversation is simply not enough,” says COTA SA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jane Mussared.
“They want to be much more involved in defining the challenges and developing the solution,” Ms Mussared says.
“People want to play their part in their communities, to be at the table and to exercise influence as active participants and partners – and our recommendations are practical initiatives designed to achieve just that.”
The submission includes recommendations for redesigning health services, improved transport and housing options, strategies to end ageism and elder abuse and funding for a Living Laboratory Network; which should see older people involved in the development of products and services that support modern older lives.
Ms Mussared says older people are central to the economic and social future of South Australia and the State Government has the opportunity to fund initiatives that reflect modern ageing in all its diversity.
“Involving older people in the design and delivery of products and services that impact them is a critical ingredient in enabling the South Australian community, and our economy, to flourish,” she says.
“We want to see living laboratories get off the ground and, with them, plenty of opportunities for older people all over the state to play a central and defining role.”
According to Ms Mussared involving older people as key influencers is particularly important as South Australia develops its credentials as the hub of a thriving ageing well industry, leading technology, product and service development for older people.
“We need to knock down the very considerable barriers that stop older people taking part on equal terms with other generations in the everyday life of the South Australian community – and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the State Government to make this happen.”