- The Dignity of Older People and their Mission in the Church and in the World, Pontifical Council For the Laity, 1998.
- Council of the Ageing – NSW and National
For a wealth of information, resources and teachings from the Church on ageing and the elderly visit the Pontifical Council for the Family.
- ‘Current and Emerging Issues for Older People’ – Speech by Dr Kay Patterson, Age Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission.
- Willing to Work: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination Against Older Australians and Australians with Disability, Human Rights Commission, 2015. See also their section on Elder Abuse.
- No Place Like Home: The Impact of Declining Home Ownership on Retirement, Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, 2017.; see related ‘Housing Affordability not Just a Problem Millennials’, Catholic Weekly.
- For insight into Federal Government approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aged care see here.
- Prime Minister’s 2017 Closing the Gap Report.
- A Place at the Table: Social Justice in an Ageing Society, 2016-17 Social Justice Statement, Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.
- Federal Department of Treasury, Intergenerational Report, 2015.
- Ending and Preventing Older Women’s Experiences of Homelessness in Australia, Homelessness Australia and Equality Rights Joint Submission
- ‘Elder Abuse – A National Legal Response’, Australian Law Reform Commission, Report 131.
- To explore a whole range of statistics associated with older Australians including specific groups like Indigenous Australians and Culturally and Linguistic Diverse see the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
- ‘Homelessness and Older People’, Homelessness Australia Fact-sheet
- Commonwealth Senate Report: ‘Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings, including the gender and age related dimensions, and the particular situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse people with disability’, November 2015.
- For a sense of policies and approaches in NSW see the Department of Family and Community Services.
We are all called to counteract this poisonous throw-away culture.
What Can You Do?
- Simple self reflection – how do you value older people? How do you treat them, especially in the workplace? Could you reach out and connect more? Could you advocate for and with them when they’re treated unfairly? If you’re an older person, are you engaging in the life of the community, sharing your stories, experience, skills and wisdom?
- Advocate for increased and better palliative care services – this is the real solution to dying with dignity, not euthanasia. The NSW Cancer Council has a campaign worth checking out, and the national peak body Palliative Care Australia has lots of resources and ideas.
- Find out your Local Members’ views on aged care and seniors are – Visit NSW Parliament and Commonwealth Parliament to find your local MP.
- Could you volunteer? Many Residential Aged Care Homes have volunteering programmes check your local area. Your diocesan version of CatholicCare or Centacare will often have volunteering programmes of various sorts. For the Sydney region these contacts are: Sydney Archdiocese – CatholicCare; Broken Bay Diocese – CatholicCare; Parramatta Diocese – CatholicCare Social Services
- Get involved in Seniors Festival in March each year.
- In your parish look around and see if older people are connected or isolated, maybe they need a visit or to go out for a cup of coffee. If you are an older person are there younger people you could befriend, or consider starting a mentoring group to share life, faith and professional experiences.
- Check out the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council ‘Ten Steps Card’ for the 2016-17 Social Justice Statement for more ideas.