City working with businesses to provide better retail experiences for older people

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The City of Joondalup is working with the local business community to encourage better age-friendly customer service and more welcoming environments for older shoppers and clients.

The City received a grant from the Department of Communities (Age-Friendly Communities Funding) to deliver a number of programs for older people in the community in 2017/18, including a series of workshops that focus on the initiatives local businesses can implement to support more age-friendly and inclusive environments.

Each workshop is delivered by facilitators with expertise on the ageing process and the changing needs of people as they grow older.

Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City was one of the first organisations to get involved, recently hosting two workshops – one for centre management, security and cleaning staff and a second for retailers.

Feedback so far from workshop participants has been extremely positive.

Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said it was pleasing see Lakeside Joondalup – the State’s biggest metropolitan shopping centre and an important City stakeholder – among those looking at the long-term needs of older customers and clients.

He said the predicted increase in the older age population would be the largest demographic change in Joondalup over the next 20 years.

“The 2016 Census showed that the City has just over 30,000 people aged 60 and above. By 2036 this number is expected to be in excess of 40,000,” he said.

“Joondalup prides itself on being an age-friendly community that recognises diversity among older people, promotes their inclusion and contribution in all areas of community life, respects their decisions and lifestyle choices and anticipates and responds flexibly to ageing-related needs and preferences.

“It’s great to see key City stakeholders and local businesses support these outcomes and is looking ahead to address our community’s future needs.

“Providing a broad range of services, programs and events that promote healthy active ageing for residents and contribute to the standard of living for older people in the community must continue to be a key priority for our City going forward.”

Lakeside Joondalup Centre Manager Gemma Hannigan said that Lendlease was committed to providing an inclusive and accessible shopping experience for customers of all ages.

“Better insights into the needs and preferences of the ageing population assist us in creating more welcoming environments, so older customers can comfortably plan a social and shopping outing and enjoy a more welcoming environment,” she said.

The City is anticipating that 10 workshops will be conducted over the course of the project.