At yesterday’s (Monday 03 October) International Day for Older Persons celebration event, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council pledged its commitment to supporting older people’s right to live a full, active, and healthy life by unveiling the region’s first Age Friendly Strategy and Action Plan 2022-2025.
Developed by the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC) Age Friendly Alliance – a collaboration of key stakeholders from public, community, and voluntary sectors – the new strategy and three-year action plan will work to ensure all residents in the borough can live in security, enjoy good health, continue to participate fully in society, and feel valued and respected – regardless of age.
Speaking at the event, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Paul Greenfield said:
“As we celebrate International Day for Older Persons and indeed Positive Aging Month this October, we felt it was fitting to launch the borough’s first ever Age Friendly Strategy and Action Plan, which not only demonstrates our commitment to the needs of older people today but also of those for generations to come.
“The population of Northern Ireland is becoming increasingly older, and our borough is no exception to this trend, with numbers of those aged 65 and over projected to grow by 65.6% and those aged 85 and over by 125.8% in the next 23 years. As we grow older, we often spend more time in our homes and communities, therefore the need for an age friendly borough that continually adapts to support the health and wellbeing of local older people is essential.
“I look forward to seeing the realisation of these exciting plans and the growth of an age friendly community here in the borough – where everyone feels valued and supported to live their lives with confidence regardless of age.”
Details of the new plan were announced at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Craigavon by ABC Age Friendly Alliance Chair, Billy Stewart during council’s International Day for Older Persons event, which saw 100 local older people along with public, community, and voluntary sector partners come together to celebrate and champion older people.
Commenting on the launch, the Commissioner for Older People NI, Eddie Lynch said:
“I welcome the launch of the Age Friendly Strategy and Action Plan by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Age Friendly Alliance and it’s fantastic to see older people being recognised as a priority within the borough. We are living in an ageing population, and it is absolutely vital that strategies such as this one exist to ensure older people are at the centre of local government. We need to fully support older people to remain active, live independently, stay healthier for longer and take steps to prevent them from falling into poverty.”
Throughout October – Positive Ageing Month – a range of events and activities will take place across the borough, which are designed to encourage older people to reach out and connect to help reduce social isolation and loneliness as well as to help support them to live long healthy lives. A full list of local events is available in the current ABC Seniors Newsletter.
For further information about the new ABC Age Friendly Strategy and Action Plan or to get a copy of the latest ABC Seniors Newsletter, contact Stephanie Rock, Age Friendly Officer at Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council on firstname.lastname@example.org, 0330 056 1011 or 07825 010630.
To access an electronic version of the ABC Age Friendly Strategy and Action Plan or the ABC Seniors Network Newsletter visit: https://www.armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk/council-launches-boroughs-first-age-friendly-strategy/.
The Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Age Friendly Alliance is funded through the Public Health Agency.