Sharing the Wisdom of Our Elders is an outcome of the Koori Growing Old Well Study (KGOWS), a longitudinal cohort study which aims to identify risk and protective factors for dementia and other age-related chronic conditions, as well as promote ageing well with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians from urban and regional communities.
As a population, Aboriginal Australians are ageing rapidly, with an increasing number and proportion of older people in all communities. Unacceptable disparities (‘gaps’) in mortality remain, but average life expectancy is increasing, and is currently 72-76 years for Aboriginal Australians. At older ages, life expectancy for Aboriginal people is closer to that of non-Indigenous Australians.
Older people have a vital role in Aboriginal communities, in terms of leadership, caregiving and continuity of culture. As such, the health and wellbeing, and aged care needs, of older Aboriginal people are emerging priorities.