Active Ageing through Employment Health Lens

The Active Ageing through Employment health lens project is a collaborative project between the Health in All Policies Unit and Country Health SA Local Health Network, SA Health.

South Australia has the second highest proportion of older people in Australia, after Tasmania, with 1 in 6 people aged 65 years and older. This figure is expected to double in the next 15 years as the baby boomer generation ages, with the potential to result in significant workforce shortages through both ageing and ill health associated with chronic disease. This is likely to create a number of challenges, particularly in country South Australia, where there is a higher proportion of older people in the population and a higher proportion of the population living with chronic disease.

About the project

The Active Ageing through Employment project was conceptualised using the World Health Organization’s Active Ageing Policy Framework, which defines active ageing as a life-long process that facilitates people reaching their physical, social and mental health and wellbeing potential throughout the course of their lives. 

Active ageing is not just about people being physically active or able to participate in the workforce, but also their continuing participation in social, economic, cultural, spiritual and civic affairs.

The project will consider the determinants of active ageing, with a specific focus on workforce participation. A desktop analysis will be used to map and examine the interactions between the policy settings of South Australian government departments and other key agencies in country South Australia and the determinants of active ageing, with a particular focus on optimising meaningful opportunities for older people in country South Australia to remain in the workforce if they choose to.

An important secondary objective of the project is to build the existing capacity and skills of Country Health SA Local Health Network staff to positively address the social determinants of health using the HiAP Partnership model. This model has been designed to ensure both the partners policy agenda and the health and wellbeing agenda are progressed. In this project a ‘learning by doing’ approach is an important component of the capacity building work.

Seven Cabinet Strategic Priorities

The project supports South Australia’s strategic priority ‘Safe Communities, Healthy Neighbourhoods’.

South Australia’s Strategic Plan Target

T48 Ageing workforce participation: Increase the proportion of older South Australians who are engaged in the workforce by 10 percentage points by 2020 (baseline: 2010).