Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
County Donegal Ireland
The consultation process for the Donegal Age Friendly Strategy took place in the Autumn of 2014 with the document being formally launched in May 2015. The strategy consisted of twenty two actions across eight themes. Designed to have a practical impact of the lives of older people in the County the intervening time has seen the anticipated implementation period of three years elapse.
The overall ambition of the Age Friendly Strategy was that Donegal would:
• Become one of the greatest Counties in Ireland to grow old in.
• Have easily accessible public buildings, shops and services;
• Incorporate older people’s views into significant decisions being made in the County;
• Promote a positive attitude to ageing and address stereotypes about older people;
• Create opportunities for older people to be engaged in their communities socially, as employees and as volunteers.
• To create an environment where people will continue to live independently in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.
To date, the Alliance have overseen a number of innovative initiatives to meet the overall objectives of the strategy, including, provision of age friendly training to public servants, improvement in essential health services and the delivery of an intergenerational programme of social participation activity
Central to the structures and work of the Age Friendly programme is the establishment of an Older Persons Council, its core function is to put the voice of older people central to decision-making process about matters that affect everyday living in the county. The Donegal Older Persons Council was established following the launch of the strategy and has proved a successful addition to the Age Friendly effort. Formed as a sub structure of the alliance, the OPC operates through an executive committee that draws membership from the community sector, seldom heard voices and older persons champions, the OPC secretariat is also linked into the PPN through sourcing representatives and the PPN Older Persons Linkage group functioning as the OPC plenary membership.
As the Donegal Older Persons Council has evolved two key roles have emerged, engagement to provide improved services for older people, with particular emphasis on health and wellbeing services, and, direct involvement in rolling out projects such as intergenerational activities in conjunction with Donegal Youth Council