Almost half of older Australians believe their situation is worsening, according to a new survey released by the COTA Federation.
The State of the Older Nation (SOTON) report, now in its third edition, surveyed 2,750 Australians aged 50 and over and found that 45% of respondents felt their situation had deteriorated, up from 33% in 2021.
The survey reveals a pervasive sense of pessimism underpinned by concerns about financial security, age discrimination, difficulties accessing healthcare, and fears of homelessness. Vulnerable groups are even more affected.
The COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and the ongoing national housing shortage, along with the increasing cost of living, have all contributed to older Australians’ anxieties about the future.
Respondents who thought things were getting worse cited the high cost of living as the top reason, with six out of ten mentioning it as a factor, almost double the percentage from the previous survey.
The inability to access medical services is another factor contributing to growing pessimism.
One in three older Australians reported experiencing age-related discrimination. Discrimination is most common when seeking employment, visiting businesses, using financial services, renting or buying property, or when accessing government services.
The survey’s findings underscore the need for a national strategy for older people to address their concerns and ensure they are more secure and resilient in the future.