An age-friendly city is a city that encourages active ageing by optimising opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance the quality of life as people age - World Health Organisation
As city populations age there’s a need to consider the specific needs of older people in urban areas. This is a great opportunity: creating age-friendly cities means not just adapting places to deal with problems but encouraging all to take full advantage of city life and living.
An age-friendly approach extends far beyond concerns about health and social care. The age-friendly model incorporates the eight domains of housing, transportation, social participation, outdoor spaces & buildings, respect & social inclusion, community support & health services, communication & information and civic participation & employment to meet the diverse needs of older people.
In Bristol we are keen to empower communities and older people to have a voice and to influence local decision making.
On 23rd November 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) accepted Bristol’s application to become the 705th member of the Global Network of Age Friendly Communities. The network represents cities and communities across the world who are all committed to making their areas better for older people, which also has a positive impact on the community as a whole.
Bristol’s membership of the network represents three years’ worth of work from Bristol City Council, Age UK Bristol and Bristol Ageing Better, a partnership of organisations working to reduce social isolation and loneliness among older people.
Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees said, “Bristol being accepted to the Age Friendly Cities network is a restatement of our commitment to enable older people to feel safe, enjoy good health and continue to participate fully in society. I want to see Bristol as a better place for everyone to grow old and become a more closely connected society where people work together and support one another.”
Programme Director at Bristol Ageing Better, Adam Rees said, “This announcement builds on the commitment from Bristol City Council, local voluntary organisations and represents the voices of older people who have influenced Bristol’s Age Friendly strategy from the beginning. This is just the start of our journey to making Bristol truly age friendly.”
The concept of Age Friendly Cities was launched in 2007 by the WHO’s Age Friendly Cities Guide, which outlined the eight domains necessary to support older people living in cities. These domains are Transport, Civic Participation and Employment, Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, Respect and Social Inclusion, Housing, Social Participation, Communication and Information and Community Support and Health Services.