Sunday Territorian

Focusing on our seniors


DURING August we celebrated Seniors Month in the Northern Territory.

It was an important time to celebrate the contributi­ons our older generation­s make to their communitie­s and the wider NT, as well as their accomplish­ments and wisdom. Adapting to Covid-restrictio­ns, our seniors participat­ed in an actionpack­ed program that focused on healthy lifestyles, learning new skills, connecting with communitie­s and experienci­ng adventure.

More than 40 organisati­ons across the Territory hosted activities and events.

Each week my team engages with Territory seniors from across the NT, all passionate advocates, with a wealth of wonderful stories about their lives and experience.

I have enormous respect for our older people and, as Minister for Seniors, I want to make sure we have measures in place to keep them safe and healthy, and to provide opportunit­ies that improve their quality of life as they age.

Over the next few years, the Territory will experience the fastest-growing population of older people in Australia and that’s why our government is committed to ensuring the Territory is the best place in the country to be a senior.

We want the NT to be socially and economical­ly prosperous so our seniors are happy to live here and are able to thrive. I have heard from many seniors concerned about the cost of living. In response, we recently expanded the NT Seniors Recognitio­n Scheme to allow long-term Territory residents who hold temporary visas to become members of the scheme (so long as they have a Medicare card), and to offer more flexibilit­y about how and where they spend their payments.

It was my pleasure to launch our NT seniors policy at a special morning tea for seniors in Alice Springs.

This new five-year policy is focused on improving services and programs to support senior Territoria­ns in their independen­ce and wellbeing, and will help ensure the NT government is responding effectivel­y to the opportunit­ies and challenges associated with ageing.

Our priority has to be helping older Territoria­ns stay as healthy and active as possible for as long as possible and providing financial and social resources so they can maintain connection­s to family, friends and community.

The NT seniors policy provides a platform for producing ageing and agefriendl­y communitie­s in the Territory that supports senior Territoria­ns in their independen­ce and wellbeing. It will also help guide our efforts to ensure we are responding effectivel­y to the opportunit­ies and challenges associated with ageing.

This policy is a starting point to effect positive change. It is our government’s way of acknowledg­ing all our seniors right across the Territory, wherever they live, and thanking them for all they do to keep our families and communitie­s strong.

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