Age Friendly Lisburn & Castlereagh logo which is these words and a half flower with different coloured petals to represent the eight domains of age friendly statusAn empowered, prosperous, healthy, safe and inclusive community

Introduction

Our council area is recognised as having an ageing population meaning the demographic profile will change significantly over the next 10-20 years.

We acknowledge this will pose significant challenges and opportunities. As a council we are committed to improving the Lisburn Castlereagh area through the World Health Organisation’s Age Friendly Framework, the results of which will positively impact on our citizens.

What does Age Friendly mean?

An Age Friendly world enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities. It is:

  • a place where everyone is treated with respect, regardless of their age
  • a place that makes it easy to stay connected to those around you and those you love
  • a place that helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages.
  • a place that helps those who can no longer look after themselves to live with dignity and enjoyment.

Like many cities across the world we are taking active steps towards becoming more Age Friendly and signing up to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Age Friendly Global Network. This is in harmony with the NI Executive Office’s ‘Active Ageing Strategy 2015-2021’, which is an outcome of the Programme for Government.

If you would like to find out more information on the Age Friendly initiative and how you can link in with the Age friendly initiative please contact: Gareth McCausland, Age Friendly Co-ordinator on 07880 054840.

What has the council done?

In 2018, we formed an Age Friendly Alliance as part of our strategic Lisburn & Castlereagh Community Plan.

In 2020, we undertook an Older People’s Survey in partnership with the Public Health Agency and two neighbouring councils. 

To ensure we keep our older people as part of the conversation of Age Friendly the Seniors Information Network (SING) was established in partnership with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and AgeNI. Representatives of the SING group are aligned to the Age Friendly Alliance and attend meetings along with other older people who have an interest in age related issues.

We appointed an elected Age Friendly Champion to chair the Age Friendly Alliance.  It is Alderman Amanda Grehan.

We also launched our Age Friendly Strategy & Action Plan in 2020. This identifies how we plan to address the eight WHO Age Friendly domains of:

  • Outdoor Spaces and buildings
  • Transport
  • Housing
  • Social Participation*
  • Respect and Inclusion
  • Civic Participation
  • Communication and information*
  • Community and Health services*

*Three of the above domains have been identified as priority areas for the Age Friendly Alliance.

As an Age Friendly Community we will:

  • Establish mechanisms to involve older people throughout the Age Friendly process.
  • Develop a baseline assessment of the age-friendliness of the area under the eight domains.
  • Over the course of two years develop a plan and network for our older residents
  • Develop a 3-year council-wide action plan
  • Identify measurements to monitor progress against this plan.

What plans does the council have?

In terms of the above eight domains we are working in partnership with other public sector organisations and third sector bodies to develop projects, strategies and initiatives to make our city an age friendly one. 

The main elements of each age friendly domain are detailed below.  If you wish to read the full Age Frindly Staretgy Action Plan please click here.

 

yellow box with black writing which says outdoor spaces and buildings  with a picture of a building

Outdoor spaces and buildings

The outside environment and public buildings have a major impact on mobility, independence and quality of life of older people to allow them in ‘age in place’.  This includes the themes of quality of life access and safety.

What we have done and will do to address this domain:

  • Undertaken walkability audits to improve access to services
  • Strive to ensure that benches in public areas are clean to encourage people to rest
  • Ensure all council facilities are accessible to all abilities

 

orange box with white writing saying transport and a picture with a car and van side by side

Transport

Affordable and accessible public transport is important factor to influence active ageing.  We want to ensure our older residents can move throughout the council area to participate in social and civic events and access public services.

What we have done and will do to address this domain:

  • Work in partnership with Translink to improve public transport to allow older residents to attend medical appointments
  • Welcome the extension of the glider service from Carryduff to Lisburn as part of the Belfast Region City Deal programme

 

red box with white writing saying housing and picture of a house

Housing

Housing is essential to safety and wellbeing.  There is a high value placed on suitable housing and support being in place to allow older people to age comfortably and safely in their community.

What we have done and will do to address this domain:

  • Undertake a housing audit to determine the level of housing stock suitable to older residents.  This will be in partnership with housing associations and the NI Housing Executive
  • Through our Home Safety team (funded by the Public Health Agency) we undertake free home safety checks for our older residents
  • Our pest control service is free of charge to older residents in receipt of a state pension or other benefits.  Read more by clicking here
  • The Affordable Warmth Scheme tackles fuel poverty in the private sector. The Housing Executive and local councils deliver it throughout Northern Ireland. To find out if you qualify please call our team on 028 9244 7548.

 

burgundy box with white writing saying social participation and an image of a group of people

Social participation

Social participation and social support are connected to good health and wellbeing throughout life.  Older people need to participate in activities to maintain their independence. 

What we have done and will do to address this domain:

  • Through our CSAW programme we offer a range of physical activities for older residents and people with disabilities.  These are important for socialising and physical and mental health. Our award winning green spaces and indoor facilities are used by this programme.
  • Our Active Ageing programme offers older people the opportunity to stay active. The Active Ageing is available at the Lagan Valley LeisurePlex. Please click here to find out more
  • The Macmillan Move programme which the council partners in alongside the health trust offers support to those dealing with or have overcome cancer.  It involves personalised solo and group activities.
  • Undertake an audit to map the services currently available in the council area to reduce isolation

 

green box with black writing saying respect and inclusion.  Also an image of a heart with sunrays in white

Respect and inclusion

The extent of participation by older people in local activities is closely linked to their experiences of inclusion.  The respect and involvement of older people in the community can depend on culture, gender, health status and economic status.

What we have done and will do to address this domain:

  • We support International Older Peoples month and arrange events as do our community planning partners
  • The council offers funding to local communities to host inclusive events or activities so that all ages, abilities and cultures can come together as a community
  • Our CSAW programme is dedicated to supporting residents over 50 years of age

 

sky blue box with black writing saying civic participation and a white image of two people

Civic participation

Older people when retired do not stop contributing to society. Many provide unpaid or voluntary work for their families and communities. Age Friendly status provided options for older people to continue to contribute to their communities through paid employment or voluntary work if they choose do to so.

What we have done and will do to address this domain:

  • Recognise older volunteers at our annual Mayor’s Community Awards
  • As an employer the council offers flexible retirement to staff wishing to continue to work after retirement age
  • Work with local businesses to encourage the recruitment of older employees including veterans

 

dark blue box with white writing saying communication and information with an image of a loud speaker

Communication and information

It is important that older people stay connected and are made aware of events and services in a timely manner.

What we have done and will do to address this domain:

  • We have established an older persons’ network in the Lisburn Castlereagh area
  • We have nominated an Alderman Amanda Grehan as our Age Friendly Champion
  • We support the Pensioners Parliament
  • We consider the needs of our older residents when producing information
  • The council is part of Full Fibre NI and Project Stratum, both of which are aimed at improving broadband accessibility across urban and rural parts of the council area by 2024

 

deep purple box with white writing saying community and health and an image to portray health

Community and health

A joined up approach is needed across statutory services to address community needs within budget constraints.  The focus of health services needs to move from acute care to early interventions.  Both of which will help improve the independence of older people.

What we have done and will do to address this domain:

  • We promote our community planning partner messages of staying safe during the winter, which includes how to avoid slips, trips and falls
  • Through our Home Safety Team we provide winter care kits to our older residents
  • Through the Lisburn & Castlereagh Policing and Community Safety Partnership we support local neighbourhood watch schemes to offer peace of mind to local communities
  • All council facilities are signed up to the Dementia NI Just a Minute (JAM) scheme
  • We have introduced a Community Toilet Scheme in the council area.  Read more by clicking here
  • Support the Local Commissioning Group to deliver the work of integrated care partnerships.  This would include improved quality of life for care home residents through integrated community activities and to prototype a dementia pathway with the PHA and Health Board