A Place at the Table - Social justice in an ageing society

Post date: Sep 24, 2016 8:49:51 PM

2016-2017 Social Justice Sunday Statement

A Place at the Table

Social justice in an ageing society

The Catholic Bishops of Australia have issue a major statement on the ageing of Australian society.

The 2016–2017 Social Justice Statement, A Place at the Table: Social justice in an ageing society, celebrates the ageing of the population and the significant contributions older people make to the life of the community. Increasing numbers of older people enjoy good health and an active life for many years.

The ageing demographic has rightly been described as ‘the great success story of human development’.

But significant challenges remain.

While workers are being encouraged to work beyond retirement, older people in poverty are likely to carry that hardship into retirement without proper assistance.

In an ageing population, vulnerable groups confront the risks of ageism, social isolation and elder abuse.

Archbishop Denis J. Hart, President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, noted "Where governments are encouraging older people to extend their working lives, we must ensure the benefits are shared equitably and that the needs of people enduring poverty are addressed."

"We are also concerned for those experiencing declining heath and approaching the end of their lives. The most vulnerable must be protected from isolation, ageism, abuse and any circumstance in which they may feel, or be made to feel, a burden on their families or society. This Social Justice Statement calls for communities of mercy and love, ministering to the vulnerable, building bonds between generations and ensuring everyone has a place at the table." Archbishop Hart said.

The Bishops challenge a ‘throw-away’ culture that casts older people as being burdensome or even dispensable. They call for communities that foster solidarity among the generations and ensure older people have a place in the heart of community life.

The Statement and associated resources can be downloaded at: www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au.