Belfast City Council is calling on people to give their opinion on creating an Age-friendly city in which older people can enjoy ‘living life to full.’
A Draft Age-friendly Belfast plan (2018-2021), produced by Belfast Strategic Partnership, of which the council is a member, is now open for consultation.
The partnership is keen to involve older people themselves, as well as members of the public who might have ideas on improving life for older members of their family.
Age-friendly Action Plan
Our original three-year Age-friendly action plan – which ran from 2014-17 has already boosted life and opportunities for older people in Belfast.
However, older people still face a number of challenges which we are hoping to tackle as we move forward. These involve addressing inequalities and supporting Dementia Friendly Communities.
Councillor Sonia Copeland, Chair of the council’s All-party Reference Group on Older People, said: “We have identified five cross cutting themes which link in with our Belfast Agenda – these include partnership; infrastructure; social inclusion; health and wellbeing; and financial security.
“Our aim is to create a Belfast that’s vibrant, attractive, connected and environmentally sustainable city for older people and for them to benefit with others from a thriving and prosperous economy.
“We want to ensure they fulfil their potential in every area of society. Older people want to actively contribute; many continue to help look after families, volunteer, carry on working past retirement, take up educational opportunities as well as enjoying life in general,” she added.
Physical and Mental Health
“Keeping active is important to physical and mental health, but where people may need extra support we want to ensure services are there to provide the help that’s needed. That’s why we need as many people as possible to join the consultation and have their say on what’s needed,” said Councillor Copeland.
Chair of the Healthy Ageing Strategic Partnership, Iain Deboys, said: “We have produced this draft plan after listening carefully to what older people have told us is important to them and in looking at what it is like for older people to live in the city.
“The draft plan contains a wide range of actions which are quite specific so that people will know whether we have done what we said we would do. We will meet as many people as possible to hear what they think of the plan and how we can improve it” Mr Deboys added.
The Draft Age-friendly Belfast Plan (2018-2021) and consultation questionnaire is available here until Tuesday, 25 September.