Work­ing to be age friendly

Kapiti News - - News -

De­sign of homes af­fects our way of life, and I re­cently read that, “Nar­row door­ways, en­try steps, bath­rooms on the up­per level of a split level or two-storeyed house and mul­ti­storey build­ings with no lifts have no place in to­day’s world — it is time for change.”

If ever there was a quote that sup­ported the need for the adop­tion of the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) Check­list of Es­sen­tial Fea­tures of Age Friendly Ci­ties and Com­mu­ni­ties this has to be it.

To il­lus­trate what I am re­fer­ring to, here is a sum­mary with the ti­tle ‘What is an Age Friendly Com­mu­nity’.

It en­cap­su­lates the ac­tual sec­tions in­cluded in the WHO check­list and in­cludes a small com­ment to add mean­ing to each sec­tion.

Eight key fea­tures of an age-friendly com­mu­nity:

1. Out­door spa­ces and pub­lic build­ings are pleas­ant, clean, se­cure and phys­i­cally ac­ces­si­ble.

2. Pub­lic trans­porta­tion is ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able.

3. Hous­ing is af­ford­able, ap­pro­pri­ately lo­cated, well built, well de­signed and se­cure.

4. Op­por­tu­ni­ties ex­ist for so­cial par­tic­i­pa­tion in leisure, so­cial, cul­tural and spir­i­tual ac­tiv­i­ties with peo­ple of all ages and cul­tures.

5. Older peo­ple are treated with re­spect and are in­cluded in civic life.

6. Op­por­tu­ni­ties for em­ploy­ment and vol­un­teer­ing cater to older per­sons’ in­ter­ests and abil­i­ties.

7. Age-friendly com­mu­ni­ca­tion and in­for­ma­tion is avail­able.

8. Com­mu­nity sup­port and health ser­vices are tai­lored to older per­sons’ needs.

These show that in an age-friendly com­mu­nity the poli­cies, ser­vices and struc­tures re­lated to the phys­i­cal and so­cial en­vi­ron­ment are de­signed to help se­niors “age ac­tively”.

In other words the com­mu­nity is set up to help se­niors live safely, en­joy good health and stay in­volved.

Ka¯ piti Coast Dis­trict Coun­cil has a state­ment on p83 of the Long Term Plan for 2018-38 with the ti­tle of Age Friendly Ka¯ piti.

The sec­ond para­graph states “Com­mu­nity re­silience in an age­friendly dis­trict is a key pri­or­ity for the coun­cil and we aim to make the dis­trict a place that works for young and age­ing peo­ple alike. Ac­tiv­i­ties, work-streams and pol­icy re­views will fo­cus on the dis­trict be­com­ing more ac­ces­si­ble and age-friendly.”

To help make this hap­pen we all need to be­come aware of ex­actly what needs to hap­pen and why so that we all can share the re­spon­si­bil­ity for help­ing to make Ka¯ piti an “All Age-Friendly” dis­trict by en­cour­ag­ing the adop­tion of such prac­tices.

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