Age Friendly Strategy Launched

An Age Friendly Strategy and Action Plan has been launched by a local council in Northern Ireland in a bid to make the area a better place to live and grow older.

Ards and North Down Borough Council's Community Planning Partnership is working towards the World Health Organisation's (WHO) age friendly status. This process includes a comprehensive strategy and action plan to help cater for the ageing population.

The demographic profile of those living in the council area is expected to change significantly over the next 10-20 years, with the number of people over the age of 65 expected to rise from around 31,000 in 2014 to 50,000 by 2030. The number of people over the age of 85 is anticipated to more than double, from just under 4,000 in 2014 to around 10,000 by 2039.
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"These changes pose significant challenges," said Ards and North Down Mayor, Councillor Richard Smart. "As more people live for longer, this shift in age structure means that retirement, pensions and other social benefits, along with healthcare requirements, tend to extend over longer periods of time.

"We need the capacity to create environments in which all of us can flourish as we age, allowing us to lead healthy, active and engaged lives.

"Society needs to plan for the needs of a much larger older population and it's important that organisations designing and delivering public services take account of these changes to ensure that future services are fit for purpose."

The creation of the Strategy and Action Plan marks the beginning of a process to create a more age friendly society. It provides a framework to help make Ards and North Down a great place to grow older and an area in which everyone, regardless of age, is valued and respected.

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