WA Seniors set to be celebrated with Seniors Week back for 2020
Western Australia's Seniors Week 2020 commences today, with a range of activities and events that celebrate the contributions of older people and supports their active participation in community life.
The COVID-19 pandemic will see Seniors Week for 2020 take a different form to previous years, with a more selected set of events spread over a longer period, to help maintain social distancing and ensure the safety of seniors who attend.
The Department of Communities has provided a total of $50,000 in grant funding to support seven community organisations to host Seniors Week events throughout November.
The Seniors Recreation Council's 'Have a Go Day' - a favourite feature of Seniors Week - will be held on Wednesday, 11 November at Burswood Park, and this year will also honour Remembrance Day with the Victoria Park-South Perth and Districts RSL.
Transperth is providing free public transport all day long between 8-15 November for all Seniors SmartRider holders. Seniors SmartRiders are issued to all Western Australian Seniors Card holders.
Full details of Seniors Week activities can be found on the Council of the Ageing Western Australia website https://www.cotawa.org.au/events/
COVID-19 has increased the potential vulnerability of older people, as seniors became more socially isolated due to necessary restrictions. The prevention of Elder Abuse is a key priority for the State Government's Seniors portfolio, with a number of community-based organisations funded to provide services, including:
- The Council of the Ageing Western Australia to establish the first Vulnerable Seniors Peak Body, and an advertising campaign to raise awareness of elder abuse and COVID-19 related information;
- The Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre to develop and trial the Elder Abuse Peer Education Scheme and expansion of the Older People's Rights Service;
- Advocare to deliver seniors abuse awareness training for financial advisers and to undertake seniors abuse awareness public forums;
- delivered $150,000 to the University of Western Australia to undertake research into the prevalence of elder abuse in WA; and
- funding has also been committed for elder abuse prevention and support services in regional and remote areas.
Seniors and Ageing and Volunteering Minister Mick Murray said, "For Western Australia, 2020 has been a year like few others and for the State's seniors, connections to their communities are now more important than ever.
"We want to encourage seniors to stay safe, enjoy the events on offer and feel valued and acknowledged for their contributions that continue to enrich our communities and our lives.
"Seniors Week may look slightly different this year, but it is still a great opportunity to re-establish connections that may have been lost: to see new things, meet new people and make new friends.
"Over 19% of Western Australia's population is aged over 60. It is predicted that by 2026, 20.9% of WA's total population will be aged 60 years and over.
"Seniors Week acknowledges and celebrates older people for their valued contribution to Western Australia that is enjoyed by us all, regardless of age.
"While Seniors Week events celebrate seniors and encourage active ageing, they also bring opportunities for generations to come together to learn from each other and link seniors to the community.
"Each event will bring something to the people who organise it, to their community - and of course to those who take part."
8 November 2020.