Older 3ersons Reference Group completes surveys
Horsham’s Rural City Councils Older 3er sons Reference Group has completed its research on ways to improve the munic ipality as a place where older people live safely, enmoy good health and stay involved in the community. (stablished in March this year, the 2 member Group surveyed the commu nity in -uly and August where people were asked about their physical and social environments and what might make their community more age friendly. Horsham Rural City Council Director Community Wellbeing .evin O’%rien said the assessment was based on the World Health Organisation’s checklists for Age Friendly Communities. “The Group’s task was to determine what aspects of the Horsham municipality en able people to stay active and engaged as they age ± and what areas need improv ing,´ Mr O’%rien said. “The Reference Group has collated its find ings and make recommendations to Coun cil.´ 3ositive results included access to venues such as the Horsham Town Hall, <MCA and 8 A which provide important events and opportunities for social connection. Results also showed local bus and ta[i ser vices were reliable, clean, comfortable and affordable and the drivers were courteous. Areas for improvement were transport op tions to Melbourne and %allarat as well as between medical and other key facilities in Horsham. Access to parking is an ongoing concern, because as people age or are unwell, they may only be able to walk short distances. The survey also found older people did not always feel consulted or that their input was valued. Also, more shade in the central ac tivity district was important during summer. The ne[t step is the development of a de tailed implementation plan based on the actions identified in the Aged Friendly Com munities Audit Findings and Actions report which will then be presented for council consideration.