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
Social participation is strongly connected to a person’s good health and wellbeing throughout life. Participating in leisure, social, cultural and spiritual activities in the community, as well as with the family, allows older people to continue to exercise their competence and maintain or establish supportive and caring relationships. A lack of such social networks can have a negative impact in terms of health and wellbeing and can result in social isolation.
Bristol has a rich and diverse cultural and leisure landscape. As well as being home to the UK’s oldest working theatre, it has live art, festivals and community events, location filming, dynamic community arts activity and an innovative approach to the use of empty space.
There are a reducing number of free activities in Bristol and cost can be a barrier for those on fixed incomes. Activities in Bristol must remain affordable to encourage as much participation from older people as possible.
Feedback from older people has identified a number of common barriers to participation, which include caring responsibilities and language barriers as well as transport and lack of confidence. Despite the range of cultural and leisure activities, these activities can be unevenly spread out across the city, which can make them less accessible for residents of certain areas. It is important to consider these common issues when developing Age-friendly activities.