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Thoughts about Aged Care | Ageing Gracefully - Why Ageism Does Not Serve Any Age

Ageing gracefully, getting older and aged care – when we speak those words, they should be filled with delight, interest and a new chapter to look forward to, but that is not always the case.

Australians are getting older as a population. There are now 15% of Australians making up the population who are over 65 years old, and by 2030, the over 65 year olds will out number the under 15 year olds – a first in Australia.

So what does this mean for us Australians heading toward 60 and beyond?

Ageism is one of those “bite-your-nose-off-to-spite-your-face” problems in our community – it does not serve anyone - young or old. Young people feel we need to make way for them in the workplace, they see us as not keeping up and remaining in the past. People as young as 45 are being discriminated against in the workplace.

Old people feel like they cannot learn new things or change their course toward just simply getting old. We have only started to build the bridge to understanding how the skills, approach and attitude of all ages can better co-exist in organisations and allow them to thrive.

Our current economic circumstances mean that the qualifying age pension will increase to 70 years by 2035

This requires people over 50 to stay in the workplace for much longer than before. The government’s intergenerational report states that an extra 3 per cent participation rate in workers over 55 is estimated to account for a $33 billion boost to Australia's gross domestic product.

The writing is on the wall, we need to keep ourselves fit and healthy, physically, mentally and emotionally to keep on working past we may have thought of as retirement age.

In our conversations with people over 50, this is not an issue. We are happy to continue working well into our 70’s for two reasons – so we don’t get bored and lose our sense of self and also because for many of us we need to keep earning a living.

If we are going to live longer and healthier, then we need to take a stance against Ageism

The human brain was never meant to stay stagnant, it is built to grow and develop and learn, creating new pathways in the process. With our knowledge increasing about the brain’s neuroplasticity, we know that our brains can change, develop and heal traumas. They can also learn new skills no matter what our age.

With an economy requiring us to stay productive well into our older years, it is vital we make a change in the perceptions of people past 60 being a valuable asset to the community. We need to be able to stay in the workforce, share our knowledge and wisdom, start a business, learn new hobbies, begin a movement – whatever we wish to do with our lives – without our age determining whether we can or cannot do something.

There is both a need to continue learning new things past the age of 60 so that we are not considered “living in the past” by younger generations and also it is a fundamental need to ongoing human contentment – if we are learning and growing, we are fulfilling our life’s purpose.  

It is time for all of us over the age of 50, to make a stance against ageism, so that opportunities for better lives, which include our careers and hobbies, remain open to us.

As Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see”, so it starts with us

The change starts with us getting our mojo going again to learn new things.

When elders are well integrated into a community, the community has better self esteem in general because everyone benefits.

Take care of the way you are thinking and speaking. Are you thinking yourself old with statements such as “I’m getting too old to learn new things”, “I’m too old for technology”, “I’m too old to get fitter and heathier”, “young people these days have no gratitude”. You cannot replace years of wisdom and we have plenty to offer. Get yourself up to date with social movements in the world, chat with your grandkids or a friend’s grandkids more and embrace change. Get comfortable with technology and being online, all it takes is some willingness.

So how does home aged care come into the picture?

Home aged care packages were created in Australia with the intent to help Australians stay at home for longer, without needing to move to a residential aged care facility. If you are an Australian who wants to stay in the workplace, or you are a running a business, then you can continue working and receive a home care package at the same time. This provides a little added support so that you can handle your workload and responsibilities at home, to make life that little easier.

Home aged care is income tested so that the daily fee will change according to your income. You will also need to so an ACAT Assessment to qualify your eligibility for a home aged care package which is offered from Level 1-4 depending on whether you need low or high level care.

This is a different way to view home aged care, as most people think home care is for old people who need a great deal of help at home because of age or injury. However, home aged care can also be used to develop a lifestyle program that helps you to stay healthy – mentally and physically – so that you can stay productive.

Call us at Home Nursing Solutions in Adelaide on (08) 8331 3791 and we can discuss with you the options you have for home aged care, whatever your circumstances may be.

 

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