Each city or county’s programme is led by an Alliance, chaired by the Chief Executive of the local authority, comprising the most senior decision makers from the key public, private and not-for-profit agencies involved in providing supports and services to older people e.g. Local Authority, HSE, Gardaí, VEC/University, Leader, Carers groups, Community and Voluntary Pillar, Chambers of Commerce, County Enterprise Board. Also at the Alliance table are representatives from the Business and Service Providers Forums (see below) and most importantly, a representative from the Older Peoples Council, ensuring that the voice of the older person is heard loudly and clearly at the Alliance.
Older People’s Council
Each Age Friendly City and County establishes a local Older People’s Council. The Council is open to all older people. The findings from these consultations inform the priorities of the Age Friendly Strategy – which is adopted by the Alliance.
The Council exists to represent the views of older people on the Alliance. It also takes responsibility for implementing many of the changes identified through the consultation process.
Service Providers Forums
These forums bring together all those organisations providing services to older people in the county – across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors- with a view to exploring how to improve the range and quality of those services and make them more responsive to the expressed needs of older people.
These forums are designed to stimulate awareness among the business community about how best to grow their customer base, by deepening their understanding of older people’s needs, preferences, behaviours and attitudes. They comprise business leaders from the area who have an interest in responding to those needs and see the opportunities for businesses to benefit from the ‘age-friendly county initiative’. They explore opportunities across a range of sectors, including leisure, retailing, financial services, transport, health, communications and volunteering.
Following extensive consultation with older people, service providers and others develop an Age Friendly City/County Strategy. This plan acts as a blueprint for that City or County as it sets out on the road to becoming an age friendly place. It contains specific commitments by agencies, service providers and older people’s organisations, often in collaboration, to implement agreed changes reflecting the priorities expressed by older people in the consultation process.