Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Limerick City & County Ireland
For some time now, it has been known that physical environments that are Age Friendly can make the difference between independence and dependence, and that older people who live in an unsafe environment, or in areas with many physical barriers, are less likely to get out, and therefore can be more prone to isolation, depression, reduced fitness and increased mobility problems (WHO 2002).
According to Census 2016, Limerick city and county has a combined population of 181,809 and 27,800 of that population is aged 60 or older. It is estimated that by the year 2050 that figure will have risen to approximately 65,000, with 18,400 being aged 80 years and older.
In 2007 the World Health Organisation published an extensive piece of research titled “The Global Age Friendly Cities Report.” The report started an international drive to have Age Friendly protocols implemented in countries around the world. The Irish government in acknowledging the importance of that report, drew up a Framework for Developing Age Friendly Communities and on June 30th, 2013, Limerick was formally acknowledged for its commitment to becoming Age Friendly through its participation in the WHO Age Friendly Cities and Communities network and undertaking to adhere to the principles enshrined in the Dublin Declaration.
Limerick then set about establishing its first Age Friendly Alliance and began an extensive consultative process that culminated in the publication of Limericks first Age Friendly Strategy 2015 – 2020. To coincide with the publication of the strategy, the Chief Executive of Limerick City & County Council invited members of various groups who represented the views of older people to become Limericks first Age Friendly Older Peoples Council. The Council is tasked with working with the Age Friendly Programme Manager to ensure the implementation of the Age Friendly Strategy.
The Strategy is based on the eight WHO themes and has identified 42 objectives under those eight headings. The key to the successful implementation of the strategy is collaboration between the Programme staff and the Older Peoples Council, working in partnership to make Limerick a place where older people can stay living in their own homes and communities, lead healthy and active lives, get to where they want to, when they want to, and are valued contributors to the lives of their communities.