Seniors make up a significant portion of residents in the City of Fremantle and also contribute substantial rates. The Council works hard to ensure older people can live full and healthy lives and remain active in our community. In 2018, the City of Fremantle was recognised for its efforts to become an age-friendly city, winning the Age Friendly Local Government category at the WA Seniors Awards.
The Age Friendly City Plan 2019-2024, adopted by Council in June this year was developed in consultation with 150 older people who engaged either online, through surveys, at events or through one-on-one meetings. The Plan aims to decrease loneliness, increase social participation and volunteering, provide inter-generational and cross-cultural activities and improve communication about services and opportunities for people over the age of 55.
The City’s focal point for encouraging social participation among older people is the Wanjoo Lounge – a dedicated space for over 55s to engage in free activities offered by paid tutors. The Wanjoo Lounge is open 9am-3pm, Monday to Friday and is frequented by approximately 25 people a day and has 15 regular volunteers.
The City also offers positive ageing forums covering topics ranging from housing options and financial counselling to cybercrime, as well as regular free ‘Come and Try’ activities, weekly courses, a social walking group and one-on-one computer tuition. The current What’s On Guide includes 20 events and activities specifically for seniors from October – December. A summary of the free events offers to seniors from July – September, and the number of people who are participated, is in the table below.
Other services offered to seniors from the City includes a weekly book deliveries and free beach wheelchairs at South Beach and Bathers Beach. Seniors also get discounted rates at the Fremantle Leisure Centre, which offers specialised fitness programs for over 55s. The Leisure Centre pool has ramps for ease of access, and the water is heated between 32–34 degrees to assist in the relief of arthritic and muscle soreness. The City also offers special programs for seniors as part of its mainstream community services at the Fremantle Library, The Meeting Place and the Fremantle Arts Centre.
Last year, the federal government changed its funding criteria for the Home And Community Care (HACC) program, no longer offering the funds to local government, but instead to larger not for profit organisations. The service, which included the HACC Bus pick service was transferred to Amana Living as the preferred supplier. Seniors who are eligible for home care packages are still able to use Amana Living for the same services and more than the Fremantle HACC program provided. For more information Fremantle transitioning out of HACC.
The Home Collection Service for bulky waste items recently ceased because the use of this service was very low – despite an increase in the number of local people over 55. However, if an elderly person is in genuine need and struggling with bulky white goods, the City is still able to help out on a case by case basis. Should there be a need to re-introduce the service, that is certainly an option. The Council continues to provide an assisted collection service for elderly and disabled people who have trouble putting out their bins.
Seniors are a valued part of our community who contribute significantly. I want older locals to feel safe, welcome and supported in our City and welcome feedback on how the City can help to meet their needs.
What’s on guide: over 55s free activities July to September statistics
|Presentations/information sessions included:
|My Age Care x 2, Dementia, Stroke Safe||60|
|Recreational: weekly sessions||Walking group, Chair yoga 2 x pw, Gentle flow yoga, Badminton
|90 approx. p/week|
|Health Nutrition weekly sessions||Food sensations x 4, Know your pantry x 4||18 p/week|
|Arts/Crafts||Nature art 4, Abstract Embroidery x 6,||10 p/week|
|Technology||Intro to computer, Gmail, iPhone, Word docs, saving photos||10 per sessions x 6|
|Social groups weekly||Knitting, sewing,
Courtyard BBQs (occasionally)
|20 approx. p/week