National Women's Health Policy

4. Ageing well

Current government action to assist women to age well.

Page last updated: 07 February 2011

Current government action to assist women to age well

The National Respite for Carers Program (NRCP) is one of several initiatives designed to support and assist relatives and friends caring at home for people who are unable to care for themselves because of disability or frailty. In the 2003 Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, there were 2.6 million carers who provided some assistance to those who needed help because of disability or age. Just over half (54 per cent) of all carers were women. Women were also more likely (71 per cent) to be primary carers.

The program provides:
  • information and support for carers; and
  • assistance to help carers take a break from caring
Under the program there are 54 Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres established across Australia.

The program funds:
  • more than 650 community-based Respite Services;
  • Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres;
  • the National Carer Counselling Program, and
  • the Carer Advisory Service.


The Australian Government has committed to the ongoing support of The National Dementia Initiative. The Dementia Initiative currently provides about $135 million a year to support people with dementia, their families and carers. This includes around: Top of page
  • $104 million a year for Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia Packages that provide services to people with dementia in their own homes;
  • $24 million a year for dementia research, prevention, early intervention and improved care initiatives, including research grants offered through the National Health and Medical Research Council and funding for three Dementia Collaborative Research Centres; and
  • $7 million for training for aged and community care staff, carers and community workers including police.

Promote active ageing

The Australian Government has appointed an Ambassador for Ageing, Ms Noeline Brown, to positively promote active and healthy ageing, and to challenge the stereotypes held of older Australians. The Ambassador promotes respect for, and the value of, older Australians by recognising their vital and ongoing contribution and encouraging them to fully participate in all aspects of Australian life. Most of the events in which the Ambassador participates involve speaking with older women on healthy ageing. These include media interviews (many in rural and regional areas), television appearances, health promotion events (e.g. flu vaccination for the elderly), community events and conferences.

A series of active ageing posters and brochures, featuring the Ambassador for Ageing, provide sensible tips and advice on: staying physically active; eating well; keeping in touch with family, friends and community; and avoiding falls at home.


Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions—the Better Arthritis and Osteoporosis Care initiative focuses on improving the care and management of people with arthritis, osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal conditions ($14.4 million over four years, 2010–11 to 2013–14).

Future government action to assist women to age well

4.1 Continue supporting Australian women to age well through a range of programs.
4.2 Explore opportunities for older women to have a stronger consumer representative role
in policy development and program design.