Draft strategy aims to engage and enrich Lake Mac’s ageing population

Published on 29 June 2022

Eleebana great grandmother Barbara Watson with neighbour Dominque Philpott and her children Isla and Mylo.jpg

Lake Macquarie City Council will work towards creating a more inclusive community where older people are respected, engaged, resilient and active under a draft strategy on public exhibition.

The Lake Mac Ageing Population Strategy 2022-2026 aims to improve lifestyle and wellbeing for the city’s ageing population, with more than one in five residents aged 65 and older.

Manager Community Partnerships Andrew Bryant said that proportion was expected to increase to 25 per cent within 15 years.

“This increase will be most notable in the 85-plus age group, which will almost double from 2.8 per cent to 5.3 per cent,” he said.

“It’s wonderful that people are living longer, but we need to make sure the mechanisms are in place to provide enrichment and engagement for people in their later years of life.”

The draft strategy includes four key aims:

  • Create a more age-friendly environment
  • Develop a more inclusive community where older people are respected and engaged
  • Work to ensure older people stay safe, active and healthy
  • Ensure older people are more informed and resilient as they age

Mr Bryant said measures to meet these goals ranged from providing more outdoor exercise equipment, shaded areas and seating in Council reserves to developing new intergenerational events and activities.

“The strategy outlines specific steps we can take to address the four key aims, but it also covers broader measures, like considering the needs of seniors within all Council programs and strategies,” he said.

Under the draft strategy, Council will continue to deliver free activities as part of its popular Over-55s Program, as well as a biennial forum or expo, focusing on housing options for seniors.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said seniors contributed greatly to the community.

“They are our experienced workers, our knowledge-holders, our carers, our parents and grandparents, and the lifeblood of so many charities and non-profit organisations,” she said.

“We need to value the contribution they make, and support them in living active, happy and healthy lives.”

The draft strategy is on exhibition for public comment until Monday 25 July. Go to shape.lakemac.com.au for more information and to have your say.