About the Programme
The Irish Age Friendly Cities & Counties Programme is a national initiative aimed at developing an 'age friendly cities & counties programme' in all Local Authority areas in the country. To date there are 11 such programmes fully operational, with a further ten on the starting blocks and the ambition is to have the remaining 13 areas operational by the end of 2013.
The programme now involves a clear three stage process:
- Formation of a strong Alliance of senior managers across the local authority, health service, police, business community, voluntary organisations and academic institutions, with representatives from the Older People's Forum, chaired by the County/City Manager;
- Extensive consultation with older people and their organisations, the formation of an Older Person's Forum, and the development of a draft Strategy reflecting the priorities articulated by older people and key stakeholders
- Finalisation of the strategy and a process for reviewing and supporting implementation as well as affiliation to the WHO Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities.
The different Alliances have now built up a strong track record of imaginative changes at local level - from Men's Sheds and Bogus Caller Cards to Age Friendly Business Recognition Schemes, lengthened traffic light crossing times and 'age-friendly town' initiatives. The programme is supported at national level by a National Implementation Group, comprising Assistant Secretaries from four government departments, Assistant Police Commissioner, Head of Older People's Services in the Health Service, county managers and the Director of Ageing Well Network, the national promotion body for the programme.
The overarching goal of Ireland’s Age Friendly Cities & Counties Programme is that every county in Ireland will be a great place in which to grow old. The Age Friendly Cities & Counties Programme works from the premise that older people are a valuable resource to their communities and to our society in general. The voice of the older person is at the heart of the Age Friendly Cities & Counties Programme.