Is WA's ageing population being disadvantaged by laws governing housing and accommodation?
This is the question raised by researchers at The University of Western Australia who want to talk to seniors, carers and people involved in aged care to find out.
Chief investigator Associate Professor Eileen Webb, from UWA Law School's Consumer Research Unit, said researchers were looking for West Australians aged 60 or older who may have experienced problems with their accommodation.
"We want to ask them about their experiences of current housing legislation and investigate any shortcomings or difficulties they may be facing," Professor Webb said.
"Older people are more likely to suffer stress and anxiety about housing and accommodation because they place a high value on their home environment.
"They are less likely to be in full-time employment and more likely to spend more time at home and in their neighbourhood than at any other period in their lives."
Researchers were also hoping to recruit volunteers working in aged care and other stakeholders to identify housing and other accommodation-related issues. All responses would be kept confidential and volunteers would not be identified, Professor Webb said.
The study will examine accommodation designated for seniors, such as residential aged care facilities and retirement villages, strata title developments, public housing tenancies, boarding and lodging houses, and residential parks.
Researchers will also consider the law as it impacts on seniors in rural and regional areas; seniors with disabilities; indigenous, culturally and linguistically diverse seniors; and those with low incomes and low assets.
"To date there has not been any one study which seeks to collate such a significant amount of information about seniors' housing and accommodation law in WA and its specific - and at times unique - areas of concern," Professor Webb said.
The Consumer Research Unit and Council of the Ageing WA last year received $225,000 funding from Lotterywest to undertake the research. To volunteer for the study, contact Associate Professor Webb on 6488 2947.