Innovation Age

TACSI and partners re-engineering how we live as we age

Summary

In partnership with the JO & JR Wicking Trust, the Innovation Age is a multi-year initiative that aims to catalyse the next generation of policy, services and products that enable all Australian’s to age well.

Our vision

We believe that all Australians have the right to age well, not just those who can afford it.

Our approach

Spending time in homes, caravan parks, streets and cemeteries we’ve understood the future people want as they age.

We’ve learned this future is difficult to contemplate without addressing the critical issue of home. Home also emerged as a key challenge at a systems level, with many suggesting it represents one of the hardest issues to tackle in an ageing society.

So we explored deeper the role of home and the systems around it arriving at five interdependent opportunities to create the greatest change:

  1. New models of home ownership that increase security of tenure and are supported by sustainable finance options
  2. Design and building of housing and urban precincts that increase social connectedness and overall wellbeing
  3. A social housing system that increases access to housing that adapts to changing needs and improves social connectedness
  4. Models of co-living and near-living that value identity, create secure tenure and increase social connectedness
  5. A rental market that emphasises security of tenure, supports self-determination and provides physical and financial sustainability.

TACSI insights

Home and housing play a key role in our ability to age well. We know that access to affordable and good quality housing is a key determinant of our health and wellbeing.

Ageing in place, declining housing affordability, market challenges in consumer driven services in rural/remote areas and increasing costs of healthcare are some of the key Government agendas we have identified. These ageing-related policy imperatives all influence the role of home as we age and will require innovation to create the change needed.

A growing body of evidence indicates that housing, as a whole, is becoming less capable of facilitating the positive outcomes we have previously relied on it to provide. Therefore, we need to re-image how we live to support us all to age well.

Home is an expression – as we age our identities can become homogenised and eroded. Our homes play a critical role in expressing our identity — who we’ve been, who we are and our potential future self; activities critical to finding purpose and meaningful new roles as we age. Without home, our expression is limited and our wellbeing suffers.

Home is an asset – the greatest asset is reliability of tenure (I can wake up here tomorrow, it can adapt to meet my needs, I have control when and where I move, I have a sense of ownership over the space). Yet our systems treat our homes purely as a financial asset.

Home is a gatewayhome is the access point that connects us to others and our community. How people are able to regulate the flow and quality of relationships through the gateway of their home is critical to reducing loneliness and isolation.

Outcomes

To lead change across the five opportunities, we’ve tested the following solutions:

  • Homeshare – building a new approach that enables older women to create safe and secure co-living situations
  • Reliable Rental Policy – changing the legislative framework to increase outcomes for older tenants
  • Landlord Coalition – building a movement for change through private landlords who want to achieve better outcomes for older tenants
  • Combating Social Isolation – a behavioural approach building social capability of people at risk of loneliness, to make and sustain friendship as they age
  • Shared Lives – turning households into places of care and community connection as an alternative to institutionally based options
  • Weavers – scaling a proven model of peer to peer support for family carers to continue in their caring role.

Change can’t happen at scale without collaboration, so we continue to build a significant range of relationships across Australia and across sectors, including a national impact network for ageing well.

We’re expanding our influence through a range of additional partnership projects applying the work of the Innovation Age in initiatives such as a shared equity model for older women and the design of new public housing for older tenants.

You can read our latest report here:
Starting The Innovation Age: Baby Boomers’ perspectives on what it takes to age well

Next steps

To realise large scale, community-driven change and expand on the work to date, we are launching an Ageing Well Systems Lab, which will continue our focus on the role of home as we age.