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The Importance of Age Friendly Communication


Summary

The Clare Age Friendly Alliance Board has been in existence since July 2011. Since then the main aim is to make Clare a better place in which to grow old through the delivery of the Clare Age Friendly Strategy. Access to information and services was one of the key issues raised by older people in Clare. Many older people highlighted the barriers, difficulties and challenges they experience daily when trying to access services, information or supports in their communities.

In Clare, people aged 65 and older make up almost 15% of our population. Whether you run a business, a public service serving seniors, a retail outlet or a community organisation you want to serve your clients and customers well.

The Clare Age Friendly Alliance Board wishes to make service providers, businesses, shops and the wider community aware of the needs of the older population when communicating about their services, information and activities by publishing a booklet called “A Guide to Age-Friendly Communication”.

The Clare Older People’s Council welcomed the publication of this booklet and wrote the foreword.

Training was provided to front line Local Authority staff and each participant received a copy of the Guide to Age-Friendly Communication.

Website: https://www.clarecoco.ie/services/community/clare-age-friendly-county/default.html

Key facts

Main target group: Older people in general

Sector(s): Information and communication

Desired outcome for older people:
Meet their basic needs

Other issues the Age-friendly practice aims to address:
  • Ageism
  • Accessibility
  • Dementia
  • Inclusion

Contact details

Name: Karen Fennessy

Email address: kfennessy@clarecoco.ie


Age-friendly practice in detail (click to expand):

Engaging the wider community

Project lead: Local authorities

Others involved in the project:
  • Older People’s Association

How collaboration worked: Collaboration with all Local Authority Departments because their management sent front line staff on the training course.

Older people’s involvement: Older people were consulted during the planning process

Details on older people’s involvement: Older people were consulted in relation to service providers and access to information and services was one of the key issues raised by older people in Clare and barriers and difficulties they experience daily were highlighted.

Moving forward

Has the impact of this age-friendly practice been analysed: Yes

Was the impact positive or negative:
Positive

Please share with us what you found in detail:
It was a worthwhile exercise to raise awareness amongst all staff dealing with older people accessing services of the Local Authority which targeted written and verbal/non-verbal communication with older people. All staff said it made them more aware of the challenges facing older people trying to access services in the Local Authority.

Feedback:
Staff feedback was very positive and they all felt they learned more applicable communication practices.

Looking back

Reflections:
If we were to re-visit this training we recommend that we would involve older people to interact with the participants.

Challenges:
N/A