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
There are many things which contribute to loneliness and isolation in older people – poor transport, deprived neighbourhoods, fear of crime, lack of community cohesion, lack of care and support, few cultural activities for older people etc. These are wide ranging issues which require a wider ranging response.
The World Health Organisation have developed a framework for tackling such wide ranging issues in a way which is designed to improve the quality of life of older people – the Age-friendly City network.
Joining this network of Age-friendly Cities provides Bristol with a mechanism for improving the quality of life of older people across a comprehensive range of elements which have an impact on the risk of isolation and loneliness. Most importantly, it ensures that there is an explicit commitment to focus attention on the wellbeing of older people.
In Bristol 24% of older people surveyed by BAB suggested ‘improved transport’ or ‘improved access to public facilities’ as the best way of stopping older people getting lonely.
This initiative is designed to target all older people in Bristol. It is a wide ranging and strategic initiative to provide the political and managerial momentum to address the quality of life issues of older people. Action to address loneliness, although not the sole focus of this initiative, will be greatly strengthened by the City’s commitment to become ‘age friendly’.