Age friendly communities are those that are inclusive and accessible for people of all ages. This encompasses spaces and places and programs and initiatives that make a community better for all residents - from children and young people to seniors.

Age friendly communities benefit everyone by creating a culture of inclusion enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. These communities:

  • recognise the great diversity among its residents
  • promote their inclusion and contribution in all areas of community life
  • respect their decisions and lifestyle choices, and
  • anticipate and respond to age-related needs and preferences.
The Commonwealth Government’s 2015 Intergenerational Report projects that the number of Australians aged over 65 will more than double by 2055. As Australia grows and the population continues to age, the challenge will be our ability to meet the growing need for aged care accommodation and services. With this in mind, WA Local Government is working with the State Government to develop Age Friendly Communities.

Local Government supports the creation of age friendly communities through land use planning and zoning controls, by ensuring the provision of adequate services and infrastructure supporting the needs of people as they move through the ageing continuum. For older people this may mean  the development of aged specific housing; support services and social infrastructure extends to the delivery of services such as home maintenance, respite care, domestic assistance, ‘meals on wheels’ and transport.

WHO Age Friendly Cities and Communities

The WA State Government has adopted the WHO Age Ffriendly Cities and Communities approach since 2006. Beginning with a pilot programme in the City of Melville, the WA Government was the first Australian jurisdiction to implement an age friendly community strategic planning framework that emphasised multi-sectoral collaboration. The results of this project have since been used to implement the framework in other Local Governments, particularly in rural and regional locations. In 2017 the State Government became an Affiliate of the WHO Global Network for Age Friendly Cities and Communities.

Local Government Professionals WA - Age Friendly Communities Network

In March 2015 Local Government Professionals WA formalised the Age Friendly Communities Network. Membership of the network is open to Local Governments and State Government representatives. The aim of the network is to build contacts, share information, provide professional development and advance particular issues related to age friendly communities. For more information email Local Government Professionals.

WA Strategy to Respond to the Abuse of Older People (Elder Abuse)

In November 2019 the State Government released The WA Strategy to Respond to the Abuse of Older People (Elder Abuse). This 10-year strategy is a blueprint for the priorities, actions and outcomes required to effectively prevent and respond to the abuse of older people. Elder abuse affects many older Western Australians and may involve financial, social, physical, sexual, psychological and emotional abuse. WALGA provided an advocacy submission on the draft strategy which was endorsed by WALGA State Council in September 2019.

Council on the Ageing WA 

In June 2020 the Minister for Seniors and Ageing announced that Council on the Ageing WA (COTA WA) was appointed as the Vulnerable Peak Seniors Body. COTA WA will promote, advocate and represent the interests of vulnerable seniors, including the prevention of elder abuse; and to raise awareness of measures to protect seniors from the impact of COVID-19. 

At Home Guide

Council on the Ageing Western Australia developed the At Home Guide to support older Western Australians to stay safe, connected and supported while at home. While the Guide is particularly relevant during COVID-19, it is designed as an ongoing companion for seniors at home.