In Australia, there is a growing trend for older people to age-in-place, defined as a person’s ability to live independently in their home and community with access to affordable services. Despite higher levels of social connectedness compared to urban areas, regional communities often face the challenges of reduced local aged services, health facilities and transport infrastructure. The Creating Age-Friendly Communities in Small Towns Project aims to improve community infrastructure and health care services to older residents living in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt. Funded by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions Program, this project represents the State’s single biggest investment into the Wheatbelt aged care industry in WA’s history. A pilot bus service enabled through the project’s Small Grants Scheme has provided valuable insight for the development of an integrated transport plan to identify innovative ways to provide improved transport options for the community.
PATREC Perspectives, August 2017.