Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Isle of Wight United Kingdom
A high proportion of the Isle of Wight population can be considered elderly. Social isolation is prevalent and is caused by:
- A lack of social support networks because friends/family live on the mainland
- Challenges to health/wellbeing caused by ageing, bereavement, carer responsibilities, unemployment, transport challenges and rurality.
However the Island already has some exemplar services/programmes to build on:
- Integrated health and social care services are being developed, prompted by the nationally acclaimed ‘My Life A Full Life’ (MLAFL) local CCG flagship initiative. MLAFL aims to improve services for older islanders.
- Individuals, the public, commercial and voluntary sectors have all recognised the challenges of social isolation and have made a commitment to create an ‘Age Friendly Island’. This ‘pledge’ aims to eradicate social isolation. A vision and strategic engagement project was undertaken whereby 1000+ older people, 63 younger people and 70 organisations shared their vision.
- The Island has some exceptional evidence based services which contribute to combating and reducing social isolation. Age UKIW – the lead organisation for Age Friendly Island project – has 28 services offered to people 50 years and over.
Based on this evidence, and extending the existing services, the Age Friendly Island programme will aim to change people’s attitudes around ageing; with older people seen as ‘assets’ rather than ‘burdens’, and dispel the stigma around ageing. The Age Friendly Island Programme has secured funding through the BIG Lottery’s strategic funding stream ‘Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better’. This is led by Age UKIW and eleven delivery partners. The projects will cover:
- Intergenerational work in schools
- Community led transport solutions
- Employment support
- Men in Sheds – for lonely isolated men
- And other projects which utilise existing best practice will address social isolation including those with dementia, with carers or people with mental health difficulties.
This works feeds into already established Island wide strategies including:
- Isle of Wight Council (Joint Strategic Needs Assessment)
- My Life a Full Life Strategy
- IW Health and Wellbeing Strategy
- Age UKIW Strategy Plan (2013 – 16)