Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Age-related issues as well as challenges arising from the changing population structure are important matters in Opole development policy. This policy is formulated not only for the citizens but above all together with citizens. Senior citizens are not regarded as an issue to be fixed or an inconvenience to be removed, on the contrary, through their active participation in the creation and realisation of the senior citizen policy, they are a valued partner of the municipality. Common experience of the senior citizens, municipal authorities and other stakeholders as well as the involvement of various social groups contributed to the formation of a program dedicated to older people (Opole Senior Policy Program for 2018-2022 “Opole Seniorom”). Municipal senior policy points to the family as the first institution which takes the responsibility for the condition of its senior members, while the local authorities play a supportive function in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. This policy is based on five foundations – activating and integrating the senior community, running a municipal information and education centre dedicated to senior citizens, and maintaining the self-reliance of senior citizens in the place of their residence. Its important element is also improving the accessibility of the healthcare system, rehabilitation and preventive care as well as breaking the stereotypes around the elderly persons and enhancing their positive image.
Matters concerning growing up and getting old of our city’s population will find their place in Opole Development Strategy until 2030, which is under way at the moment. Conclusions drawn from meetings with the senior citizens indicate that Opole needs to aspire to become age friendly and to make trans-generational solidarity a major item in the catalogue of the city’s values. The city is already witnessing a lot of actions in this respect. A modern housing estate for the elderly is being erected, senior citizen day is organised cyclically, day care centres and senior citizen clubs are actively functioning. Older people are getting more and more visible and present in the city’s space. An independent grassroots strategy has been formed by the Senior Citizens‘ City Council of Opole, which is an entity at the Mayor of Opole Office that integrates, supports and represents the community of the older people.