I was recently invited to address the Annual Conference of Older Women (Australia). It was a group I had not previously been aware of but I was really impressed by their keenness and enthusiasm to address the problems faced by older people in Australia. I am posting a copy of the article they requested, based on this address.

It occurred to me afterwards that there are a huge number of Australian organisations (I suspect the same is true in other countries) catering separately for the needs of this age group. It is this separation that adds to their ineffectiveness. Recently, two of them, the Australian Seniors Association and the Council of the Ageing, tried to amalgamate but had to abandon their efforts.

With a new government I hope that the new Minister may consider calling a conference of all groups (and interested individuals) to identify the problems that affect older people. One of the issues currently falling through the gaps of this division is that of negative ageing, which affects all older Australians to a greater or less degree and makes their lives miserable. Again I will make this a topic for a separate article.

Older people are forming an ever increasing percentage of the population and it is really important that our attributes are recognised and our needs met. Otherwise both the older people and the country miss out.

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