Ireland aims to become most age-friendly nation

A strategy to make Dublin more age-friendly has been launched as a step towards making Ireland one of the world’s most age-friendly nations. The Dublin plan, which has been launched by the city council and national programme manager Age Friendly Ireland, aims to make the city a great place to grow old and targets nine areas, including outdoor space and buildings.

Consultation with older people and service providers has found that outdoor space and buildings need to be planned and designed to ensure that they are safe and accessible for older people.

In order to make that happen, the strategy says:

  • Service providers and business will consult with older persons’ councils in relation to the development and redevelopment of their buildings and outdoor spaces
  • Council departments will liaise with the local area alliance when developing work plans and scheduling works in the public domain, so that they ensure the needs of older people are met
  • The council planning department will engage with Age Friendly Ireland to develop an older persons’ impact assessment tool

The strategy also sets out a plan to create the country’s first age-friendly hospital.

Dublin City Council is one of 26 local authorities in Ireland that have so far signed up to the Age Friendly Cities and Counties programme, a World Health Organisation initiative.

Hugh O’Connor, chief executive of Age Friendly Ireland, said: “The Central Statistics Office predicts that, over the next 30 years, the number of people in Ireland over the age of 65 will double and the number over 80 will quadruple. This changing demographic has major implications for public policy, service provisions, long-term planning, and society as a whole.”

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