Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Being conscious of the importance of its demographic changes, the City of Brussels has since 2009 invested in a political policy oriented to the senior citizens.
Indeed the City of Brussels has continuously pursued and promoted the active and dynamic ageing of its citizens and this since its membership (as the first Belgian city) of the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities in 2010, after that its subscription of the Dublin Declaration in September 2011, its participation at the European Afe-Innovnet program, its membership of the Réseau francophone des Villes Amies des Aînés and ultimately its recent affiliation of the Convention of demographic change.
The willingness to construct a cross-disciplinary policy for the elderly, built around the eight aspects of daily life as formulated by the WHO, results in a profound collaboration with the Advisory Council of the elderly, the different consultations held between 2009 and 2015 with the public, the various consultations conducted between the field associations and the different Councils (“adjoints au maire”). The most recent enquiry of 2015 should result in 2016 in the realization of an updated/improved global plan for the senior citizens.
In this context, several priorities were identified:
– the wish to be a welcoming city with antennas in every corner of Brussels and the opening of a “house for seniors” which will between 2016 and 2018 become an informative platform, supported by one office,
– trying to make the public places available for the elderly by promoting the practice of sports and health for persons of age 55 or more by installing infrastructure adapted to older persons, the organization of sports activities in the different neighborhoods and the yearly organization of the “Sport et Santé” with all the different players,
– giving preference to the development of social services at nearby locations but also such services at home. Six pilot projects will start in 2016-2017 by way of financial support received from the city of Brussels,
– paying extra attention to fragile older persons, and more particular those who reside in rest and nursing homes as well as their families. With this in mind the City will establish synergies/cohesions with the rest and nursing homes on its territory and will try to establish areas which accommodate interaction with the outer environment as well as foreseeing the opening of a home to accommodate persons suffering from dementia,
– continue our policy “senior housing” by building between 2016 and 2019 102 homes designed to address the needs of elderly people. A sheltered housing “Abbeyfield” as well as housing units for intellectually deficient older people will be implemented. Also a system of co-housing between independent elderly and students is under study within the housing stock of the City of Brussels,
– pursuing and reinforcing the participation of the elderly by way of the Advisory Council of the elderly and the pilot projects in the context of the accessibility.