17 January 2019

The Benevolent Society has released a report this week, with the latest version of the Index of Wellbeing for Older Australians (IWOA).

If you’ve seen a presentation by the Fix Pension Poverty team members, or received a briefing from us, you’ll recognise IWOA from the local area statistics of wellbeing. As in the previous iteration of the IWOA report, the data shows that older people living in the areas surrounding Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Lismore, the Tweed and Adelaide are experiencing a level of wellbeing in the bottom 20% of the country.

We’ve used these results a call for local politicians and policy makers to address the lower wellbeing being experienced by older people in the areas that they have responsibility for, and proposed that their advocacy on the specific solutions proposed by the Fix Pension Poverty campaign would make a significant difference.

As this week’s report shows, however, the Index provides us with much more information than this and further ideas on how we can work to improve the lives of communities experiencing lower levels of wellbeing around Australia.

One of the big lessons from the research is that it tells us that the need for assistance with day-to-day activities is the biggest contributor to low wellbeing across Australia. Other factors include being stuck in private rent or having no superannuation income.

We’ll be updating the Fix Pension Poverty campaign materials to include the new data, and you’ll continue to hear us talking about the Index of Wellbeing for Older Australians as we raise the importance of wellbeing in particular communities.

You can also check out the maps for the IWOA to see how older residents in your local area are faring, and also go down to see the specific factors within the Index impacting on your local community. The map is available at this link.

Yourlifechoices also had an article on the release, which you can read here.