Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Macedon Ranges Australia
In the Macedon Ranges Shire Council (MRSC) Plan 2013-17, Council committed to achieving membership of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network of Age-friendly Communities. In October 2017 the newly elected Council reconfirmed this commitment to being an age-friendly community and is continuing this through a variety of projects, strategic plans and formal commitments including:
- The implementation of the Macedon Ranges Age-friendly Communities Action Plan (AFCAP) 2014-2017
- Gaining membership to the World Health Organisations Global Network for Age-friendly Communities in August 2015
- Signing the Victorian State Government’s Age-friendly Communities Declaration in July 2016
- Development and continued implementation of the Macedon Ranges Positive Ageing Plan 2016-2020 (which now replaces the previous AFCAP)
- Success in a grant application to implement an Age-friendly Communities Rural Grant project – locally called the Over 55s Connect Project
These initiatives are part of Council’s broader commitment to making the Macedon Ranges an Age-friendly community.
Council’s Community Support Unit (CSU), which coordinated development of the Positive Ageing Plan and Age-friendly Communities Action Plan, actively fosters an inclusive community which values residents of all ages and abilities and respects them as individuals. It delivers the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) which supports older people to live independently and safely at home and stay connected to their community. It provides home care, domestic assistance, respite and community meals to over 800 residents.
We support a range of clubs and groups catering for older residents. For example, our Senior Citizens Clubs provide members with regular opportunities to socialise and share a nutritious meal. Council also works with other groups such as the University of the Third Age (U3A) and our neighbourhood houses, which focus on lifelong learning.
Council coordinates independently and in partnership a diverse range of community programs and activities providing opportunities for older residents to access information, to socialise, often over a meal and to be physically active. These include fitness classes, expos, dances and end-of-life discussion sessions. Where possible transport is offered for those who need it as lack of transport is often a significant barrier to participation.
Council’s Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee specifically seeks to address the views and aspirations of older people. A key role of this committee will be to ensure Council’s policies, programs and services are inclusive and respectful of the needs and interests of older people.
Implementation of the AFC action plan was only our first step towards becoming an age-friendly community. The Positive Ageing Plan which now replaces this plan was developed using the WHO AFC framework and guides the work of Council in continuing to become an age-friendly community.
There is a significant focus on working across Council departments to ensure older people are considered and consulted in matters affecting them. Our commitment to a cycle of continuous improvement will enable us to build upon these initial steps as we improve our capacity to engage and work alongside older members of our community. This work and that of the Positive Ageing Plan is one of several MRSC plans, policies and strategies supporting healthy ageing including the:
- Community Access and Inclusion Plan
- Communications Strategy
- Community Consultation Framework