Working to be age friendly
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.