Ageing in Place and Space: Spatial Strategies for Ageing Societies

  • The majority of older people want to age in place, in their own homes and within their own communities. Yet it is a typical response to the problems associated with ageing to relocate the individual. In this presentation we explore an approach that could help to link key components of these systems and permit older people and their advocates to engage directly with this interconnected system.

    One of the major problems for current and projected population ageing is that significant gaps exist within health care and between health care and other supports systems for older people. We often treat ‘place’ as ‘space’, easily managed and manipulated for cost and efficiency considerations. Aspects of spatial science can support community-based ageing by linking and visualising varied components of the spectrum of organisations and services that engage with older people.

    The result is a ‘virtual earth’ model of population ageing, dementia projections and health and social support infrastructure. Developed using a variety of data sources, the model links population data, epidemiological data and health and social support information to create a virtual environment for inquiring on the current and future implications of population ageing.

    This modelling contributes to the wider discussion about how to fund and manage the human consequences of population ageing. It is not about technology for its own sake but instead proposes meaningful applications that more closely model and support the way most of us live – in our local communities.

 

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