The crucial role of accessible transport for older Australians

News from St John - 1 Mar 2024

As our population continues to age, ensuring that older individuals can age in place while maintaining access to their communities becomes increasingly paramount.

This is according to the Older Person Advocacy Network position statement, which is available here OPAN – Position statements

The issue touches the very heart of independence, quality of life and human dignity for our older citizens.

Yet the solution is one that requires work from all levels of government and organisations like St John Ambulance Queensland.

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) emphasises the critical importance of affordable, safe, and accessible transport options for people of all ages and abilities.

This is not just about convenience but about enabling older individuals to maintain their independence, participate in community life, and access essential services

The OPAN suggest that transport as we know it can no longer be viewed as a ‘private service’ but must be recognised as a fundamental support system, for aging independently.

Our community transport systems within St John Ambulance QLD play a pivotal role in providing a lifeline for older Australians, ensuring they can access healthcare, social activities and freedom from their home.

But it is not just about getting from Point A to Point B, it is also about facilitation a sense of belonging and connection within the community.

The OPAN suggests that for an aged care program to succeed, transport must be integrated into framework. This means recognising transport as ‘essential’ for home care and aged care facilities.

We believe here at St John Ambulance Queensland that for older Australians to age in place and maintain their connections to their community, it is not just a matter of policy but a matter of moral imperative.

We believe that helping to facilitate affordable, safe transport options, we will not only uphold the dignity and rights of older Australians, but enrich the fabric of our society.

We support the Transport for Aging in place paper and look forward to older Australians having the support they need to live life on their terms, wherever they call home.