Cork County Launch and County Laois Age Friendly Consultations
The Cork Age Friendly County Programme was officially launched in County Hall on Monday 6th October by the County Mayor, Cllr. Alan Coleman and was followed by a speech from Cork County Council CEO, Tim Lucey. The launch was also attended by Hugh O’Connor, CEO Age Friendly Ireland, elected members and staff from Cork County Council and the general public.
Cork County is currently conducting five county-wide consultations, with the first of which took place on October 6th following the official launch of the Cork County Age Friendly Programme in County Hall. Further consultations are planned for Clonakility (9th October), Bantry (13th October), Mallow (16th October) and Kinsale (20th October). Cork County aims to launch its Age Friendly County strategy in 2015 and the focus will then be on the implementation of actions.
County Laois just completed six consultations throughout the county to ensure that the planned Age Friendly Strategy is informed by the views of older people in Laois. An initial review of findings collated from the ‘Having Your Say’ report reveals that the most common emerging themes across all workshops were around transportation in rural areas, and access to communication and information which included advocacy and a collective point of contact. It is hoped the Laois Age Friendly County Strategy will be ready for publication in early 2015.
County Cork’s Services and Infrastructure for Older Persons Strategy
Following on from an initial examination of residential care provision in the County and in anticipation of the challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing population in the Cork region, in 2013 the Planning Department of Cork County Council set up an interagency group and began a series of initiatives with a view to positioning the county to respond in the short, medium, and long term time scales.
The intention of the Services and Infrastructure for Older Persons Strategy was to examine the issues relating to an ageing population in Cork County and to present the findings in a manner in which the results could be taken forward and acted upon. The Strategy is based on evidence provided by organisations who work with older people in a variety of settings, it draws on most recently available quantitative data from official sources such as the Census of Population and planning department statistics.
One of the proposed actions of the Services and Infrastructure for Older Persons Strategy is to put forward the findings to the recently formed Cork County Alliance and it is hoped that additional work and monitoring would take place under the Age Friendly County Programme, which Cork County Council has recently embarked on, following directly from the recommendations in this Strategy.
Please follow this link to view a copy of the strategy http://epublications.snap.com.au/older_persons_strategy/10038620#
Third Louth Age Friendly Business Fair
From health to wealth and food to travel, thousands of local people experienced a world of offers at the third Louth Age Friendly Business Fair at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk, on Sunday.
An estimated 3,000 people attended the Age Friendly County’s flagship event and experienced an array of innovative products and services that will enhance and secure our lives as we live longer. The Fair was launched by businessman Gavin Duffy, star of RTE Dragon’s Den and chairperson of the Louth Age Friendly Business Forum.
“Once again, this was an amazing event, with a great spread of ages, and exhibiting companies, coming together to form a marketplace that will improve all of our lives,” said Gavin.
“It was great to see cutting edge technology such as home health monitoring apps mix with such traditional businesses such as fuel suppliers and menswear shops.
“Many businesses have tailored products towards an age-friendly market in Louth so we now have chairobics in your home, age friendly meals in hotels, special prices in barbers and butchers offering age friendly portions.”
54 Age Friendly businesses exhibited as well as leading figures from caring and support services, technology, finance, fashion and law.
Sponsored by Myhomecare.ie, the Fair was supported by the Louth Age Friendly County Initiative, Age Friendly Business Forum, Older People’s Forum and Dundalk Chamber of Commerce.
Also in attendance were Louth County Council Chief Executive Joan Martin, and Dundalk Chamber President Paddy Matthews.
Musical entertainment on the day was provided by traditional Irish band, Glasheen.
“The fair shows just how many local businesses have grasped the age-friendly message, and recognised the economic potential of our ageing local population,” said Miriam Roe from the Economic Development Unit of Louth County Council. Louth Age Friendly Co-ordinator Mary Deery was delighted with the success of the Fair, and the take-up in age-friendly business offerings.
“It was great to see so many people from all parts of the county and beyond engaging with the exhibitors.
The Fair also featured the launch of a 72-page booklet on Dementia and Memory Loss supports and service in the Louth area, written by Marie Hayes of the Citizens Information Service.
Dementia Elevator launches online video
‘What if people know I have dementia, and see me facing it full on…?’
The Dementia Elevator project has just launched its first dementia awareness video. This online video emphasizes that with the right supports, a person with dementia can continue to live well following a diagnosis.
Click here to see the video http://dementiaelevator.ie/blog/2014/10/01/dementia-elevator-launch-their-first-dementia-awareness-video/
For more information on Dementia Elevator see www.dementiaelevator.ie
Age Friendly Towns Consultations Complete
Informed by the successful 2013 pilot programme, the 2014 Age Friendly Towns Programme is currently focusing on eight places across Ireland. These include Carlow Town, Cavan Town, Mohill, Letterkenny, Eastwall, Raheny, Crumlin, Kinsale and Beaumont Hospital. Age Friendly Ireland in conjunction with each respective Local Authority will be supporting the development of these of Age Friendly Towns across 2014. The objective of the initiative is to significantly improve the quality of life of older adults living in the participating areas and to engage these older adults in shaping and enhancing their own communities.
There are currently six planners, on a part-time basis, managing and coordinating the process in each of the successful towns and services. The intention is that this team of planners will create a set of recommendations outlining how best to integrate age friendly principles into the planning process and securing improved outcomes through multi-agency cooperation.
A number of consultation methods have been applied by each planner over the last number of months but the main focus has been on the walkability of the area, consulting with older residents and engaging with local businesses and service providers. To date, over 500 people have been involved in the process and this has offered some great insights into the needs of older people in these communities.
The Pfizer Foundation, which has been key in terms of funding, will award each town a grant to assist them with accomplishing the specific age-friendly commitments made as part of the local area action plan. Some of the current areas, Eastwall for example, have already started work on a community garden in conjunction with the local Men’s Shed group and a intergenerational art competition which asks participants to paint their idea of an Age Friendly Kinsale, are just some of the actions currently underway.
It is envisaged that over the next few months these communities will have developed a sustainable plan of action that will enable them to continue and encompass an Age friendly approach in the future.
Collaborating towards an age-friendly Northern Ireland
This joint ARK Ageing Programme – Linking Generations event was held on 7th October and was designed to spark ideas and promote thinking about what ‘age-friendly’ might mean in Northern Ireland, especially as we begin to embrace our own ageing population, and move towards the community planning that our new local councils will take over next year. Thanks to the generosity of Belfast City Council, the event was held in the Banqueting Hall of Belfast City Hall, which provided a wonderful venue. We were also delighted that the event was opened by Cllr Nichola Mallon, Lord Mayor of Belfast City Council. The keynote speaker was Nancy Henkin, Visiting Fellow of the ARK Ageing Programme.
The morning session involved presentations from a wide range of practitioners, who shared their experience, learning and challenges of intergenerational work:
- Irish approaches: Keelin McCarthy (Age Action Ireland), Sarah Wetherald (Age Friendly Ireland) and Liz Harper (Age and Opportunity) – view presentation
- A Scottish approach: Alison Clyde (Generations Working Together) – view presentation
- An English approach: Susan Langford (Magic Me)
- A Welsh approach: Alan Hatton-Yeo (Communities for All Ages in Wales) – view video
- Intergenerational work in Northern Ireland: Vicki Titterington (Linking Generations Northern Ireland) – view presentation
- Evaluation of Linking Generations, Northern Ireland: Sarah McWilliams (Juniper Consulting) – view presentation
- Nancy Henkin (Intergenerational Center, Temple University, Philadelphia) – view presentation
The afternoon session comprised a policy round table discussion, chaired by Ann Marie Gray (ARK Policy Unit), drawing upon the morning presentations. Participants’ contributions will inform the development of a policy paper which will be available soon.