Ireland has become a world leader in addressing elderly people’s issues, by setting up participative councils, making businesses aware, and preparing for population ageing.
COMMITTED TO THE AGE-FRIENDLY PROGRAMME
In April 2019, Ireland became the first country ever to be committed to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Age-Friendly Programme on a national scale. Meath County Council has taken the lead in developing Ireland as an Age-Friendly country through its establishment of an Age-Friendly Ireland shared service for local government. This service provides support and guidance to all 31 local authorities in developing their Age-Friendly Programmes. Over the last ten years, every local authority has committed to developing as Age-Friendly counties and cities.
OLDER PEOPLE'S COUNCILS
Age-Friendly Ireland motivates citizens to participate through the establishment of Older People’s Councils (OPCs) in each local authority administrative area. The OPCs consult with older people in their geographic area, contributing to the development of Age-Friendly actions, and monitoring their local Age-Friendly Strategy. Special attention is given to ensuring that the OPCs represent the voice of diverse groups of older people including rural and urban, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, people with dementia, or those in residential care settings. Age-Friendly work in Ireland contributes to lasting and sustainable improvements in people’s lives by: focusing on how environments and buildings are designed to be age friendly; working with elected members and all public sector agencies to change how they deliver services; working with the business community so that they are more aware of the needs of older customers; developing appropriate networks and structures; and, creating widespread awareness of population ageing and older people’s issues.
IRELAND prepares for the future
Age-Friendly Ireland works in partnership with the public, private, and NGO sectors to prepare Ireland for population ageing and to address elderly people’s issues under the eight themes of the WHO’s Age-Friendly Programme. When funding for this work ended, Meath County Council offered to host the Age-Friendly Programme in order to ensure continuity and then bid to host the shared service for Age-Friendly work in Ireland. Ireland’s Age-Friendly Programme is at an advanced stage and well-regarded internationally. The continued support from Meath County Council helps to drive this innovative work.