Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Madrid is a city with extensive experience and a solid tradition of policies and services aimed at the elderly, a group that represents almost 20% of the city’s population. It is a city that has a wide network of services aimed at providing support to the elderly to help them stay in their homes and care for those who are vulnerable, whilst also making great efforts to promote ‘active ageing’. Aware of the ‘age-friendliness’ of our city, in March 2013, the Plenary Assembly of the City Council unanimously agreed to apply to join the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities, a network of which we are now fully active members.
One of the basic requirements fulfilled, and of which we should feel proud, is the broad development of public participation bodies at individual, territorial or sectoral level, with the involvement of a specific department, the Sectoral Council for the Elderly of the City of Madrid, from the very beginning of the membership process. We know that this is an ambitious project that requires the consensus of all municipal areas, since the city’s degree of age-friendliness depends on many environmental, social and economic aspects that affect health and welfare: open spaces and buildings; transport; housing; social participation; social integration and respect; civic engagement; employment; retirement; information and communication; and both social and healthcare services.
Madrid’s membership of this global network is therefore a great incentive to continue working with and for the community, because an age-friendly city does not only benefit the elderly, an age-friendly city benefits everyone in the community, regardless of their age, gender, needs or abilities. The diagnosis of the city’s strengths and weaknesses is a real opportunity for improvement that we simply will not waste.