WITH the city's demographics changing, Bathurst Regional Council has been urged to develop an ageing strategy to help guide future planning.
Councillor Monica Morse raised the issue with council at last week's policy committee meting, saying that it was something that had to be done sooner rather than later.
"We need to consider priorities for an ageing community," she said.
The NSW Government has already developed a strategy to address the needs of the ageing population and that study looked at five key areas, being health and wellbeing, working and retiring, housing choices, getting around, and inclusive communities.
Cr Morse said Bathurst's elderly people were already facing difficulties and the situation was set to become increasingly challenging as more of the population reaches that age.
Among the biggest shortfalls are transport and basic infrastructure.
"We need more transport for older people living in units to get into town. I don't think there is any transport for the units in Lambert Street, Rocket Street, and there's certainly no seats. I'll continue to campaign for more seats to be provided for people who walk into town," Cr Morse said.
In order to create an ageing strategy, it would require all departments of council to contribute.
Cr Morse encouraged all of the department directors to look at studies that have been carried out in the United States as a starting point for planning.
"Neighbourhood design and neighbourhood access is really important, and especially when we are talking about the new subdivisions - the Eglinton one and Sunnybright Orchard," she said.
"Just imagine being an older person in Sunnybright and you can't go anywhere; there is no city centre, there's nothing and that is such bad age planning."
Cr Morse appears to have an ally in her push for an ageing strategy in Cr Jacqui Rudge, who is working on addressing an issue that comes with an ageing population: dementia.
At the same meeting, Cr Rudge informed the chamber that a meeting was being arranged to occur in August with a member of the community to discuss ways to make Bathurst a dementia-friendly city.
The idea to came out of consultation for health and planning that council was involved in.
"I think it's a step in the right direction," she said.
"Apparently it's not expensive and I'm hopeful you'll all support me in getting that going."