Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
In 2013, Council endorsed working towards creating an age friendly community. Consequently twenty-one Age Friendly Ambassadors were recruited and trained. The Ambassadors developed the engagement approach and identified who and how they would consult the older adult community. Over a period of four months between Feb – May 2014, the Ambassadors visited 36 seniors groups where they engaged in discussions with over 1,200 residents. In addition to the conversations, 738 out of 4000 ‘Age Friendly’ surveys were returned to Council.
In December 2014, the draft plan was distributed throughout the Monash community, posted to seniors groups, participants in the initial Age Friendly consultation phase and individuals/groups who requested a copy, over 300 drafts were circulated; two community conversation sessions were hosted by Council staff and Age Friendly Ambassadors in February 2015, with 45 older residents and service provider representatives attending; six seniors groups were re-visited between February and 20 March 2015; the Positive Ageing Reference Group together with Age Friendly Ambassadors prepared an independent review and; 72 written and comprehensive submissions were returned to Council on the draft.
The Age Friendly Monash Positive Ageing Plan 2015 – 2019 outlines Council’s commitment to becoming an age friendly city.
The strategic framework will guide Monash Council over the next five years and the priority actions that will be undertaken through an integrated and collaborative approach. Communication and information were consistent throughout the consultation discussions and across the eight domains. Older adults reported that finding out what services, activities and opportunities were available was important in all areas. Improving how Council communicates with older residents and how information is disseminated is a key issue for Council to address.
Additionally, accessibility, which included the quality of footpaths and physical access to buildings, access to public toilets, public transport, and suitable parking and taxi’s were areas of concern for many people across a number of domains.
Finally, community and health services were, overall, important issues for the majority of older residents followed by transportation, respect and social participation.