The City of Tea Tree Gully is in the process of updating its Ageing Strategy 2010-2015 and in 2009 met with residents and service providers to:
In order to obtain this feedback from the community, a number of workshops and focus groups were held and a survey was also developed.
The objectives of the survey were to provide Council with more information about how older residents (aged 55 and over) are involved in the community, how they view their housing situation, how safe they feel in their homes and their local neighbourhood and how they find information about local programs and services.
The principal methodology used to obtain the data was self completion hard copy surveys with around 1000 surveys distributed to residents aged 55 years and over. In total, 486 people completed the survey with 161 responses being provided by Community Panel members through an online version of the survey. The online survey was available for completion from 18-24 September, 2009. A reminder email was also sent.
Survey respondents generally believe that the City of Tea Tree Gully is a safe place to conduct their lives and that their homes are secure:
In spite of these figures, only 28% of respondents agree with the statement that there is very little crime in Tea Tree Gully.
Respondents are actively involved in community groups and associations with 76% involved in one or more groups. There is a broad spread of participation across a wide variety of traditional groups such as Church and Senior Citizens groups as well as emerging associations such as U3A and Environmental groups. In regards to barriers to participation in community activities, the issue of cost is not a major impediment for respondents. However, lack of access to transport, personal mobility and confidence are critical issues for the 80+ cohort.
Survey respondents are generally comfortable with their levels of contact with others and their degree of social inclusion. Only 8.25% of respondents can be described as socially isolated - a figure that is comparable with a number of international and Australian studies.
Eighty seven percent of respondents agree that physical activity is an important part of their lives and their preference is for informal rather than structured exercise. Forty six percent of respondents are regular volunteers - a figure that compares favourably with other Australian research into volunteering.
In contrast to the workshop participants, survey respondents are not overly concerned about housing options and alternatives. Given the younger age of the survey sample, this may mean that in general, survey respondents have not reached the age where they are thinking about housing alternatives.
Survey respondents overwhelmingly believe that Council has an important role to play in providing information about local programs and they favour the Gully Grapevine and the Messenger as sources of information.
Click here to see a more detailed overview of the survey findings.
The final consultation report, which incorporates findings from all the research conducted, as well as literature reviews, has recently been completed. A number of ideas and suggested strategies were derived from the consultation process and recommended for inclusion in the City of Tea Tree Gully Ageing Strategy 2010-2015.
The findings and a draft Ageing Strategy have been presented to Council's Elected Members and Directors in a workshop and a final draft of the strategy will be presented to Council in April 2010 for Council endorsement. Staff from various departments will then develop an Action Plan to address the issues and challenges raised during the consultation process.
Later in 2010 there will be a public launch of the strategy to provide a summary of the findings and some examples of proposed actions from the Action Plan.