HBNC is proud to announce the release of the inaugural Fraser Coast State of Seniors Report 2024.

This comprehensive report captures valuable feedback and data from the Fraser Coast Seniors Survey, supplemented with Queensland and national statistics, to present a thorough analysis of the current state and future projections of our senior population.

The report reveals that nearly 30% of Fraser Coast residents are seniors aged 65 and over, a figure that is projected to reach 35% by 2041. This demographic shift underscores both the blessings and challenges associated with an ageing population. While the longevity of local residents is a testament to improved healthcare and quality of life, it also necessitates a strategic approach to foster an age-friendly community that supports positive ageing.

Key Findings of the Report:

  • Financial Impact: A significant 69% of seniors reported financial strain due to rising living costs, with 19% facing severe financial challenges. The costs of groceries (78%), healthcare (76%), and energy (50%) were most affected.
  • Healthcare Access: Alarmingly, 47% of seniors hesitated to access healthcare due to cost, and 9% avoided it altogether. This is particularly concerning given the prevalence of chronic health conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.
  • Preparedness for Later Life: About 17% of seniors do not feel prepared for later life, with 38% lacking an Enduring Power of Attorney and 10% living in homes unsuitable for ageing in place.
  • Social Challenges: Social isolation, elder abuse, and scamming are significant issues affecting our seniors, with many reporting a desire for more community engagement and support.

HBNC CEO, Tanya Stevenson, with Seniors Legal and Support Service team members, Ruth Lee and Karen Scott.

Despite these challenges, many seniors express positive aspects of ageing. Around 35% enjoy the freedom and leisure time that comes with retirement, 15% value the wisdom gained through life experience, and 14% appreciate reduced day-to-day stress.

HBNC CEO, Tanya Stevenson, emphasised the importance of fostering a supportive environment for seniors.

“Our seniors are an integral part of the Fraser Coast community. This report not only highlights the challenges they face but also celebrates the positive aspects of ageing. By working together, we can ensure that our seniors lead fulfilling lives and continue to contribute meaningfully to our community,” Tanya said.

The report aligns with the United Nations’ 18 Principles for Older People and the World Health Organization’s age-friendly cities framework. It serves as a call to action for local government, businesses, and community organizations to adopt strategies that promote independence, care, participation, self-fulfilment, and dignity for seniors.

The Fraser Coast Regional Council’s Community Plan 2031 already outlines steps towards making our region more age-friendly. This report will be a vital resource in supporting these initiatives and driving new strategies to enhance the quality of life for our ageing population.

Download the full report