The State of the (Older) Nation 2018 report is the most comprehensive national study ever undertaken to seek the views of Australians aged 50 and over.
Access to health services and the rising cost of living were also raised as key issues in the report, particularly for vulnerable older Australians.
Highlights of the report include:
80% of older Australians feel younger than their current age
46% feel less valued than when they were younger
Health is the number one factor that impacts whether older Australians have a high or low quality of life
84% support legislation for assisted dying
More than a quarter (28%) of those in paid employment want more paid work but 1 in 5 have experienced employment-related age discrimination
29% of working older Australians don’t expect they will ever retire
12% are struggling with overdue bills
More than half of older Australians undertake unpaid work in an average week, including volunteering and caring for family and friends
Only one in five (19%) older Australians feel valued as a voter
Dental services were identified as the most difficult to access for older Australians.
The report found nearly half (49%) of Australians aged 50 and over, including 56% of Australians aged over 65, live with at least one high vulnerability indicator such as unemployment, having a household income of less than $30,000 per year or living with a disability. This group is also less likely to eat healthy meals or have money to spend on leisure or social activities, leading to a degree of social isolation.