Agencies Collaborate with Older People to produce Wexford Age Friendly Strategy
Wexford County Council is committed to ensuring that this county is a great place in which to grow old. To this end, and in our capacity as members of the multi-agency Wexford Age Friendly Alliance, we have helped produce the Wexford Age Friendly Strategy, which was launched today at the headquarters of Wexford County Council by Mr. Paul Kehoe, TD, Minister of State with Responsibility for Defence.
The Wexford Age Friendly Alliance was formed in 2015 and has guided the research, consultation and formulation of this County Strategy. Membership of the Alliance includes representatives from An Garda Síochana, Diocese of Ferns, Church of Ireland, Wexford Chamber of Commerce, Wexford Local Link, Wexford Local Development, Wexford Campus of Carlow IT, Age Equality Network, Waterford /Wexford ETB and the HSE.
Wexford’s age friendly Strategy will be delivered with reference to the World Health Organization’s guidelines for age-friendly counties which are based around the following themes of:
- Outdoor space and buildings
- Social Participation
- Respect and Social Inclusion
- Civic Participation and Employment
- Communication and Information
- Community Support and Health Services
- Safety and Security
The Wexford Age Friendly Strategy articulates the views of more than 650 people aged over 55, collected through a series of public consultations held in 27 locations in County Wexford during 2015 and 2016. These views represent people across a wide age range and depth of interests and circumstances.
Here is what some of the participants had to say when asked for their views:
“Have a real say in what happens in our own lives and what happens in the areas in which we live”
“Enjoy good health, good services, and live in a safe environment”
“Participate fully in everything that is going on in our communities, cities and counties.”
The objectives contained in the 5-year Strategy will be implemented through an Action Plan to prioritise short, medium and long term initiatives that will enhance the quality of life of older people in this county. The implementation of the Strategy will be through a collaborative, multi-agency approach including the statutory, voluntary and community sector. The goal is to make a difference together, for the older people living in the villages and towns across County Wexford.
The Strategy and Action Plan will be supported by the Age Friendly Alliance members.
The development of the Wexford Age Friendly Strategy is timely as the number of older people is expected to rise significantly over the coming decades. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) predict that the ’65 plus’ age cohort for the South East will increase from 12.5% of the population in 2011 to 22% in 2031 indicating the urgent need to plan for this population growth and the needs of older people.