Aged care crisis
NOOSA is facing an aged care crisis with statistics revealing the region is the fastest growing aging demographic in south-east Queensland.
The Noosa Town Plan Discussion Paper states nearly a quarter of Noosa's population is aged 65 and over, with that figure expected to grow rapidly, putting pressure on aged-care facilities to meet the future demand or face losing government-awarded aged care beds.
Shine Retirement living specialist Emma Plasier said the lack of aged care facilities was forcing vulnerable senior citizens out of Noosa and away from their families.
"Without the development of senior accommodation options Noosa faces the potential loss of Federal Government-awarded aged care beds leading to an under-supply of housing and services for our vulnerable elderly population," Ms Plasier said.
"A number of elderly people have already had to move out of the area to find accommodation and that number could rise as the baby boomer generation increases."
Noosacare Inc group care manager Sandra Gilbert said the demand for aged care in Noosa was "sky-rocketing".
"We have a huge waiting list of people wanting to get in, especially in the area of dementia," Ms Gilbert said.
"Our population's all retirees, but then when they need aged care and their families aren't here to support them, I can really see it being a problem going forward.
"We could fill another dementia building tomorrow if we had one. We have people out in the community living with dementia, who need to be in aged care facilities, and they're not. That's a huge demand on their family."
Shine Retirement believes Noosa Council needs to take responsibility for the issue, urging council to increase the amount of suitable land for building new facilities.
"The challenge is the limited land available within the region to build the required care services and accommodation," Ms Plasier said.
"This undoubtedly would be catastrophic as Noosa already has a shortage of aged care options and many elderly residents are forced to move out of the area to find a home with appropriate care and support. With the lack of new facilities in the pipeline this is a trend that could compound over the next couple of decades."
Noosa Council was contacted for comment but did not respond before deadline.