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Health a major concern for ageing population

11 Nov 2015

The rising number of older and ‘older people’ in the population sees society and seniors themselves voicing growing expectations about the quality of aged care

The rising number of older and ‘older people’ in the population sees society and seniors themselves voicing growing expectations about the quality of aged care

Healthy life expectancy is defined as expected years of remaining life in ‘good’ or ‘very good’ health. Disability life expectancy is defined as expected years of remaining life free from a limiting long standing illness or disability.

In the recent report Now You See Us’ by CDU Northern Institute conducted in partnership with COTA NT, more than half of the respondents, 52 percent stated that they had health or well-being issues. Around 45 percent claimed they had been diagnosed with a disease or chronic condition.

Population ageing is creating specific impacts and needs in societies as a result of the increasing incidence of age-related disabilities and complex care needs due to end of life illnesses. Over time and, with the projected increases in the proportion of seniors in the Northern Territory, this is likely to increase significantly and coherent strategies will be required in order to ensure that appropriate care can be provided.

International data leans towards supporting the view that people are “delaying the onset of disability”. This has meant that while life expectancy has increased, the number of years that people spend with disability has also increased.

Population ageing will increase the population suffering and taking into account the specific illness or disability suffered is very important. A significant challenge will arise from the projected growth in numbers of people with dementia and this will place substantial extra demands on formal and informal care networks.

The rising number of older and ‘older people’ in the population sees society and seniors themselves voicing growing expectations about the quality of aged care and, the onset of high rates of particular disabilities and conditions is creating significantly higher demand for specialised nurses, carers and those with skills in palliative care.

The need to support this age group and the need to avoid unsustainable tax burdens falling on younger people will have an effect on how governments and individuals need to think about saving and paying for older age.

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