South Australia’s rural communities are ageing significantly faster than metropolitan Adelaide, with the Goolwa-Port Elliiot region having the oldest regional population profile in the state.
Sixty-one per cent of its population is over the age of 50.
COTA (Council on the Ageing) SA said while people living in rural communities feel a deep connection with their location and a strong sense of community, many worry about financial uncertainty, loneliness and isolation, limited mobility and transport options, and aged care.
In its new report, Ageing in Country South Australia, COTA SA proposes that beyond developing a regional ageing strategy for SA, the state government prioritise housing for disadvantaged older people, review country transport options (including funding requirements of current community transport providers), and develop a technology inclusion plan.
It also recommends rural local councils prioritise streetscapes that promote intra-town travel for people not able to drive and which are suitable for mobility scooter use.