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A place for the young at heart

28 Oct 2012

A place for the young at heart Image

Older Docklanders are an elite group.

According to 2011 census data, people aged over 65 years make up only 4.5 per cent of Docklands’ population.

Whilst they are a small bunch they make their presence known and many are active members of the Docklands community.

A recent study, commissioned by City of Melbourne and conducted by LaTrobe University’s Australian Institute for Primary Care and Ageing, found Docklands’ older population perceives living in Docklands as a positive experience.

The study involved 64 Melburnians, including 19 Docklanders, who ranged in age from early 60s to early 80s.

A City of Melbourne spokesperson said the Docklands participants had reported they liked Docklands’ modern atmosphere, enjoyed the outdoor spaces and felt safe, respected, included and connected.

Karl Berberich agrees that Docklands is a great place for retirees to live.

Mr Berberich and his wife moved from a house in Glen Waverley to an apartment in Docklands six years ago.

Mr Berberich said before he moved to Docklands a lot of his time was spent gardening and doing maintenance work.

Living in Docklands has eliminated this hassle, giving him a lot more free time to enjoy his retirement.

Mr Berberich said he enjoyed living in Docklands because of the diversity, easy access to transport and the convenient location.

He also said there were plenty of opportunities for older residents to be involved with the community.

Over the past six years, Karl has been involved with the community association, Watergate Owners Corporation and the Melbourne Probus Club.

Although Mr Berberich and the research project participants reported many positives, they also found some drawbacks with living in Docklands.

The City of Melbourne spokesperson said negative experiences reported by the Docklands participants included rowdy crowds, unhappiness with the short-term use of some apartments and feeling disconnected with the public planning process.

Mr Berberich agreed that planning was a concern.

He said many residential buildings were too close together and that there should be more open spaces in Docklands.

According to the City of Melbourne spokesperson, the main concern for the participants was the lack of visitor parking.

The spokesperson said the Docklands participants felt this could lead to social isolation and restrict access to support as they got older.

However, according to the City of Melbourne spokesperson, the Docklands participants were generally satisfied with the availability of community services, facilities and transportation in Docklands.

Mr Berberich said he was happy living in Docklands and had no plans to leave.

“Docklands is beautiful,” he said.

A City of Melbourne spokesperson said the findings of the research project would be used in the development of the Lifelong Melbourne action plan 2013-2016 and other plans regarding ageing and home and community care.

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