Re – Rural Ageing
I am writing to draw your attention to the work that COTA SA is doing to shine a light on the contributions and needs of older South Australians who live outside metropolitan Adelaide.
Our rural communities have age profiles that will be commonplace across the developed world by 2050. The Regional Development Institute say that the ageing of our regions is the most significant demographic shift in the last 30 years.
Over 633,000 South Australians are aged over 50 and more than a quarter (26%) live outside the metropolitan area. Many of our country communities have much higher age profiles than metropolitan Adelaide. You are no doubt aware that in some of our regions, such as Victor Harbor and Goolwa, about 60% of the population is aged over 50. Similarly in areas including Moonta (57%), Peterborough – Mount Remarkable (55%) and Mannum (53%) the proportion of people aged over 50 is high, and much higher than the state average of 36%.
Regional South Australia is facing a unique set of both opportunities and challenges as its population ages. While older people are important investors, business owners, volunteers and leaders in regional SA, access to affordable housing, higher unemployment, risks of loneliness and social isolation, more limited transport, health and aged care options and lower digital literacy mean that many older people in country South Australia are at a distinct disadvantage when compared with their metropolitan counterparts.
In 2018, the COTA SA Board directed that we should improve our reach into rural SA as part of our strategy to better reflect South Australians from a diverse range of backgrounds.
Since then COTA SA has