Improving Access: Age Friendly Communities

 

IMPROVING ACCESS: AGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES

THE TASMANIAN GOVERNMENT INCLUSIVE AGEING 2012-14 PROJECT 

Inclusive Ageing: Tasmania 2012-2014 Strategy (the Strategy) forms part of the over-arching response of the Tasmanian Government to support a more socially inclusive society in the context of an ageing population.  The key objective of the Strategy is to increase the capacity for all older people to be fully included in community life, particularly those who are socially excluded or at risk of becoming so.

Improving access: age-friendly communities, the fifth project to be undertaken by COTA, sets out to:

  • raise awareness of the World Health Organisation (WHO) age-friendly cities and communities ethos, and
  • assist local governments to work with their communities to develop an age friendly community.

The WHO outlines eight key interconnected aspects that need to be considered in the development of more age-friendly cities and communities:

  • outdoor spaces and buildings
  • transportation
  • housing
  • social participation
  • respect and social inclusion
  • civic participation and employment
  • communication and information
  • community and health services.

The WHO age-friendly cities and communities guide emphasises the importance of older people being involved as full partners in not only assessing a community’s age-friendliness but also in establishing what the community wants to become an age-friendly community. Older people’s opinions are necessary when communities are developing and delivering policy and services that relate to them.

Many of the features of age-friendly communities are also features that benefit people at every stage of their lives. Older people, children and young people, people with disability and the broader population all require accessible communities and environments that positively influence health and wellbeing.

The objective of the Improving access: age-friendly communities project is to increase the capacity for older Tasmanians to access services, facilities and social opportunities that exist in their community.

The intention of this project is to raise awareness of the WHO Age-friendly cities and communities ethos across all of Tasmania’s local councils, and work with any interested councils who express an interest, to assist them to understand the principles of age-friendly cities and communities and to undertake steps in their community to develop an age-friendly community.

The following outcomes have been identified as the Target Outcomes for the Improving access: age-friendly communities project:

  1. Increased awareness across Tasmania of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) essential features of age-friendly cities and communities;
  2. Improved understanding of the WHO essential features of age-friendly cities and communities at a local government level, including the principles of active ageing and the WHO eight key aspects.
  3. Increased opportunities for older people to be actively engaged in developing age-appropriate practical strategies at a local level, in line with the WHO age-friendly cities ethos.