New Website to Assist Australians with Ageing

Medical doctor using laptop computer doing work
The average life expectancy of Australians is 82.5 years, with people now expected to live nearly ten years longer than they were five decades ago. Almost nine out of ten people aged over 65 have at least one of eight common chronic diseases. The Australian Government this week launched a new website to provide information and advice to people aged over 45 prepare for their future.

The website allows users to take a “life check” in order to support people live longer and healthier lives. The aim of the Life Checks website is to encourage people to maintain physical and mental health as they age, plan for retirement and stay socially connected to avoid loneliness and isolation.

Users of the online website select their appropriate age group, either 45-64 or 65 years and over. They are then asked a series of questions around four key areas of health, wealth, work and social wellbeing. In the life check, users are prompted to answer simple questions relating to diet and exercise, financial knowledge, working arrangements and social connections. Participants are asked to select their top three priorities in each of the four areas.

At the end of completing the life check, which typically takes under ten minutes, the website user is given a five star score in each of the areas with tips on how to improve their rating and links to generic resources such as healthy recipes, physical activity guidelines, working and volunteering, and superannuation. The website also suggests that those who need more support with issues relating to physical or mental health see their GP.

Participants can request to have their results sent to them in an email. The website states that after being emailed, no information is retained and no results are shared with any third party. The Australian government invested $6.5m in the Life Checks program. The interactive website was developed as part of the ageing and aged care package, More Choices for a Longer Life, announced in the 2018/19 budget. The package also assists older Australians to work longer through measures such as boosting income for working pensioners, skills and training incentives, and changes to superannuation rules. Other measures include increased funding for home care and supporting access to aged care services in rural, regional and remote Australia.