PROPORTION OF OVER-65S IN SHEPPARTON SET TO DOUBLE BY 2051
Shepparton's elderly population will more than double in the next 30 years, and there is not enough infrastructure or support to cope with the increase.
That is the view of Shepparton Villages chief executive Kerri Rivett, who says public investment is needed soon to meet the demands of the ageing population.
A Victorian Government report released last week revealed Shepparton's population of people aged over 65 would increase by 119 per cent by 2051.
The Victoria in the Future 2015 report found overall the state's ageing population would increase by 180 per cent in the next 30 years.
"It doesn't shock me, but to prepare for the number of elderly people we actually need infrastructure," Ms Rivett said. "Shepparton Villages itself is planning for the increase but we'll need support-from government.
We need more residential care licences to meet this increase. We need more residential care beds, more community support packages, and we'll need more staff."
Ms Rivett said regional areas would be hit the hardest over the coming years. "The regional areas are ageing faster because elderly people are retiring to regional areas," she said.
"I've been at Shepparton Villages for the last 3 ½ years and we've increased our bed numbers by 30. Over the next 30 years we need to double that."
Ms Rivett said another issue was attracting aged care workers to Shepparton.
"We're already struggling to attract registered nurses to this industry, so it's not just infrastructure, it's the support around that infrastructure," she said.
"If we are to attract more people to Shepparton to work in aged care, I think that's really good for the community."
By Emily Woods - As published in the Shepparton News, Tuesday, August 11, 2015