A recent Australian Government survey found 83% of people over 60 would prefer to stay living in their own home as they get older. With just the right amount of extra support and care, staying in their own home can mean maintaining their independence for longer.
Many older Australians (aged 65 and over) have accumulated assets, such as their own homes and savings, which can be used to support their living into retirement. According to the latest Government figures, the number of people in this age group is predicted to increase from 3.8 million to 5.2 million by 2027.
All too often we hear where an older person living alone has been found to have died in their home days or even weeks before being discovered by a concerned neighbour. What a sad way to end one’s life.
Social experiments where young people visit nursing homes and mix with the residents have proven to be of immense value, not only to the elderly but also to the youngsters who gain from the wisdom and caring attention they receive. In addition, the children seem to enable the residents the opportunity to relive the fun and enjoyment of their youth. A definite win/win situation.
I am sure there are many country areas and suburban neighbourhoods where people are isolated and living alone and although, surrounded by families, they never actually get to know each other.
How wonderful it would be if we were to seek out a lonely person or couple living alone and befriend them. I know how busy we are in today’s modern world, but here is an opportunity to reach out to someone who may be lonely and rarely leaves their home or even gets visited by family and friends.
Here is a chance to show our gratitude for what our life has given us here in Australia. Enabling isolated people to still feel loved and wanted will brighten their days and give them a reason to look forward to living.
Adopting a struggling person in our neighbourhood could be the start of a whole new friendship with lasting benefits to both parties. It could also be a fine example to our younger family members of the importance we place on caring for each other.
I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.