The Ten Step Approach
Drawing on the learning from the roll out of the programme to date, we have developed a ten step approach to becoming an Age Friendly City & County which can be replicated in every county.
- Secure the approval of the Local Authority Management to lead the programme in the initial phase: The commitment of the County Manager to the roll out of the AFCC Programme is the crucial starting point from which a county begins the journey to becoming Age Friendly.
- Secure the agreement of the relevant managers of the most critical agencies in the county: Senior Managers of agencies such as the Local Authority, the HSE, An Garda Síochána, Third Level Institute, local Older People’s organisations and bodies representing local businesses.
- Secure the consent of the political representatives for the programme: Local politicians will play a vital role in supporting and promoting the AFCC Programme and therefore securing their buy-in from an early stage is essential.
- Create an Age Friendly County Alliance: The Alliance will comprise the heads of key agencies across public, private and voluntary organisations in the county, including the HSE, An Garda Síochána, local Older Peoples’ organisations. In time the Age Friendly County Alliance will include representatives from the Older People’s Forum, Service Providers Forum and Business of Ageing Forum.
- Conduct a Base-Line Study: A base-line study is conducted at the start of the programme in order to elicit the views of older people and to assess the impact over time. The study combines an attitudinal survey assessing the degrees of satisfaction of older people, with a quantitative survey of key factors profiling the position of older in the area.
- Carry out an extensive Consultation with Older People: In towns and villages across the county, consultation meetings will be organised bringing together older people and other key stakeholders to discuss the matters that are most pertinent to them.
- Develop a draft AFCC Strategy: The Alliance, following extensive consultation with older people, service providers and others, develop an Age Friendly County Strategy. These contain specific commitments by agencies, service providers and older people’s organisations, often in collaboration, to implement agreed changes – often reflecting the priorities expressed by older people in the base line study and consultation process.
- Conduct a further consultation to ensure the strategy reflects the priorities of those consulted and secure Alliance approval.
- Hold a public launch of the initiative and the strategy: the launch of the Programme in your county should maximise the opportunity to get information to the widest possible audience that the county is now an Age Friendly County.
- Move into Implementation Phase: Solid foundations for the roll out of the AFCC Programme have been laid and it is now time to move into implementation phase.