The needs of senior citizens in Opole, Poland, are addressed by providing a variety of new care services, such as delivering hot meals, setting up a residential complex, and the opening of an information and education centre.
THE AGEING POPULATION OF OPOLE
About every fourth inhabitant of Opole is a senior citizen. The city is still relatively young – one can see that in the streets, squares, cafes, concerts, and general life in the city. However, soon the proportions will change and the tone of the city will become more and more set by seniors and the elderly. Opole thinks about their future today, ensuring that the city is age-friendly. Using the potential of this group of inhabitants and implementing projects aimed at the specific problems and needs of this group, is an important element of the City's development policy.
SUPPORTing older and disabled residents
The City of Opole is implementing a number of integrated measures for the elderly, as part of its senior citizens project. Within its framework, older and disabled residents, who are in a difficult life situation concerning health and economics, get help. The process is based on several pillars: 1. Cooperation and co-decision; older residents are very much involved in social, formal, and informal consultations. 2. Joint implementation of projects and tasks; such as Senior Days, and self-help activities like the kindness telephone. 3. Informing and explaining important matters from the point of view of seniors. 4. An emphasis on intra- and inter-generational integration. The City actively supports all this activity, both organisationally and financially.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND ACTIVITIES FOR SENIORS ARE ESTABLISHED
Several dozen people in need receive support in the form of hot meals delivered to their home, as well as assistance in the form of care services. The project also introduces: an Opole Senior card for people aged 65 and over, providing discounts at cooperating municipal and private partners; a dedicated information and education centre for seniors, run with the cooperation and participation of senior citizens; activities aimed at overcoming stereotypical perceptions of seniors and strengthening the positive image of seniors; and, the construction of a residential complex for seniors. The Senior Citizens' Home will provide over one hundred flats in three buildings.