By ERWIN CHLANDA
Nearly 80% would “welcome a return to legalised assisted dying, with 10% not in support,” says Council of the Ageing CEO Sue Shearer (pictured) after a recent Territory survey of 900 people with an average age of 56.
She says euthanasia legislation was briefly in place in the NT in the late 1990s under Chief Minister Marshall Perron but that was overruled by Canberra in a push by Liberal politician Kevin Andrews.
Ms Shearer says the survey makes it clear that a new initiative should be started in the NT, “so we have a choice”.
A lower cost of living, more housing for seniors close to where they have lived their lives in the NT, more affordable housing for independent living and adequate and reasonably priced services “to allow me to stay in my home as I age” are also uppermost in the minds of senior Territorians, she says.
“Nearly 60% felt that the cost of living is increasing at a rate that is leaving them behind,” says Ms Shearer.
“The NT Seniors Recognition Scheme should be fair and equally available to all, and not related to economic circumstances.
“What a lovely Christmas present it would be indeed, if the NT Government ended this inequality and helped seniors keep up with the cost of living.
“The consideration of a debit card would enable more consumer choice for seniors too, enabling them to choose from a greater variety of selected vendors for the Seniors Recognition Scheme payment of $500.”
Ms Shearer says 82% of seniors feel very safe or relatively safe in their communities, and that nearly 70% of them expect to be living in the Territory in the next five years.
“To ensure seniors stay we need adequate accommodation choice,” and that includes retirement villages and nursing homes.
“We have the highest growth in the numbers of our population aged over 65 [of] any other state or territory. We need to start seriously planning now.”
By ERWIN CHLANDA