Age-Friendly Updates: July 2023
We will add articles to the Age-Friendly Updates page regularly to inform the progress of Caerphilly’s over 50 programmes. Posts will include some views on the Age-Friendly process.
Caerphilly will not be the only topic for our blogs. We will publish news from around Wales when it is available.
1. Across Wales
The WHO has approved Anglesey’s application to join the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. They are now a full member.
Below is an interesting comment:
“The Isle of Anglesey County Council has been very active in supporting community initiatives. We [praise] the Council and island on being innovative and community-centred.”
An innovative project involves secondary school children. They are working to transform bicycles into Google Bikes for Care Homes. The adapted bikes use Google maps to ‘travel’ through a selected location. This will enable Care Home residents to cycle through the location in the comfort of their Care Home.
COPA Board has heard from Anglesey Forum Reps and their COPA Trustee about their success.
“It makes us proud as COPA representatives to share the news that the WHO has granted Anglesey Age Friendly Status!”
They pointed out that success was due to all those involved in community activities.
“It is a time to recognise and celebrate those who work hard in their communities across the island, in small or large groups. They have taken action to support people to age well and to keep enjoying life as they get older.”
2.1 Recruiting Age-Friendly Lead
The most recent advert for a new Age-Friendly Lead Officer closed at the end of June. The council has identified a suitable candidate for the Lead officer post. Assuming the remaining details of the recruitment process are successful and the post accepted, the new AFC Lead should be in post in August.
2.2 AFC Steering Committee
The Caerphilly Age-Friendly Communities Steering Committee will meet on 24th June. The restart of these meetings after a 10-month break is welcome and we can make progress with the WHO programme.
2.3 VR in Care Homes
We have purchased 3 more headsets for the Care Homes run by Caerphilly Council. These are a later model than the original 5 headsets. They are being set up by our consultant, including adding the current video portfolio. The
The Age-Friendly Wales Newsletter contains an article from Caerphilly Over 50. The article is about our ‘Inside-Outside’ project that takes Virtual Reality into Care Homes. It describes progress this year and how we intend to continue with the project.
3. A View from Cymru Older People’s Alliance
Upholding the human rights of older people in communities is an essential starting point for AFCs. They are essential for providing reliable services to older people that they rely on to maintain their independence. Communications about AFCs need to be in straightforward terms and promoted to raise awareness. Promotion must provide clear understanding for the people in the communities.
Age-Friendly is not about just services for older people, and never has been. It is why the wider context of community is crucial. Why programme leaders put emphasis on inclusion and partnership in the Age-Friendly development processes. An Age-Friendly Community development programme must be include older people. They must be involved alongside everyone else. The WHO clearly state the principles of equity, alongside a life-course approach (e.g., ageing as a process, applicable to all).
From the above, it should be clear why ‘Engagement’ (of older people) is the first step in the WHO “Principals for Action”.
Note the key phrases; “Participation of older people” and “ENGAGE AND UNDERSTAND”.
Engagement of older people is a fundamental part of AFCs and it must be on a co-productive basis, as set out in legislation, key strategies, and WHO principles. COPA has published a set of principles and expectations for older people.
DEVELOPING AGE FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES IN WALES 22 May 2023
Many areas are still grappling with the first of the four stages set out by the WHO. Given the current variation in progress after 18 months, there is a need to plan for the end of the 3-year programme up to April 2025. Will LAs have completed the ‘Engagement’ phase within the 3 years? Will the learning experience commit them to continuing the AFC concept? If not, continuation of Welsh Government funding and stronger governance mechanisms might be necessary. COPA is clearly of the view that there should be greater clarity and transparency in reporting progress. Councils/Steering groups should set 3-year broad milestones and measures. COPA is clearly of the view that there should be greater clarity and transparency in reporting progress against these.