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Global Response

Our Age Friendly Journey

Age friendly work commenced under the World Health Organization’s Age Friendly Cities and Communities Programme as a response to population ageing. The Age Friendly Ireland Programme supports cities, counties and towns across Ireland to prepare for the rapid ageing of our population by paying increased attention to the environmental, economic and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults.

The first local authority led age friendly county programme was established in Louth in 2009. Since 2009, an age friendly programme has been developed in each of the 31 local authority areas following application of a consistent methodology and governance structure which supports cities and counties to be more inclusive of older people by addressing their expressed concerns and interests under the eight defined WHO programme headings.

   

Age friendly work commenced under the World Health Organization’s Age Friendly Cities and Communities Programme as a response to population ageing. The Age Friendly Ireland Programme supports cities, counties and towns across Ireland to prepare for the rapid ageing of our population by paying increased attention to the environmental, economic and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults.

The first local authority led age friendly county programme was established in Louth in 2009. Since 2009, an age friendly programme has been developed in each of the 31 local authority areas following application of a consistent methodology and governance structure which supports cities and counties to be more inclusive of older people by addressing their expressed concerns and interests under the eight defined WHO programme headings.

 

The 8 World Health Organisation (WHO) Age Friendly Themes Within the framework of the WHO’s Age Friendly Cities and Communities model, city and county based stakeholders are making commitments to shared action plans addressing pillars spanning housing, our health services, built environment, transport and social and civic participation. Under the leadership of the local authority chief executive’s and senior managers, governance is anchored in the multi-agency age-friendly alliances, supported by broadly representative older peoples’ councils engaged as co-design partners

 

A key strength of this programme is its reliance on the voice of older people. This is achieved through the active management of formal Older People’s Councils in each local authority area. These representative structures are a crucial vehicle for listening to older people and engaging them in decision-making processes. All infrastructural developments and social support initiatives can benefit from these structures in having a pathway to hear about older people’s needs regarding transport design and implementation and consult with them on proposed developments.

Successful age friendly city and county programmes are now working to create the kinds of communities in which older people live autonomous, independent and valued lives. To date, the local government led age friendly programmes across Ireland have implemented real change in imaginative and cost-effective ways. While health and wellbeing is fundamental to the vision a great deal of the programme has focused on actions and developments in other areas; In creating walkable, attractive and accessible communities and age-friendly spaces, and by introducing actions to address participation and inequality it is intended that people of all ages will be supported to enjoy healthier, more active and connected lives.

 

 

The Dublin Declaration on Age Friendly Cities & Communities

 

Modelled on the Barcelona Declaration (1995) the Dublin Declaration on Age Friendly Cities and Communities in Europe (2013) was developed on a collaborative basis by the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network of Age-friendly Cities, the Ageing Well Network, and the International Federation on Ageing following a detailed consultation with international experts in the field of age friendly cities and with local authorities. The aim of the Declaration is to commit signatories to a range of actions that are broadly based on the eight domains identified by the WHO in its Global Age-friendly Cities Guide. The Declaration expresses the clear commitment of political leaders of cities and communities to strengthen and champion action to make their communities more age friendly and highlights the need for ongoing improvement across a range of interrelated domains of older people’s lives. It commits signatories to undertake a continuous cycle of improvement through a planning process supported by participation in the WHO’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities.

The 2014 joint hosting, by Dublin City Council together with Age Friendly Ireland, of a civic ceremony in Dublin’s City Hall saw the signing of the Declaration by 10 local authorities. This occasion marked the full engagement by all of Ireland’s 31 local authorities with the Declaration. The Taoiseach (prime minister), on the occasion of the 2014 signing described the landmark as ‘’a declaration of Ireland’s united commitment to creating an age friendly State.’’

Various signings of the global Declaration, the official custodian of which is Dublin City Council, have brought the total signatories to more than 120 including a host of international cities such as New York, Mexico, Manchester, Edinburgh and Seoul.

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