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Age NI calls on Council election candidates to make Age Friendly pledge

Published on 02 May 2023 08:59 AM

Age NI calls on Council election candidates to make Age Friendly pledge

At the Northern Ireland local council elections on May 18 2023, Age NI is calling on all candidates to pledge to build Age Friendly communities in their council area, if elected.

Age Friendly is a framework developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to support the development of Age Friendly cities and communities. It aims to enable people to stay active, keep connected, and contribute to their community’s economic, social, and cultural life.

With the latest Census statistics showing that Northern Ireland has a rapidly growing ageing population, the proportion of those aged 65+ will soon outnumber those aged under 15. More of us living longer provides the opportunity to plan and design public services, infrastructure and facilities fit to meet the needs of older people.

Councillors have a key role to play in promoting Age Friendly and supporting the development and implementation of Age Friendly plans for their area.

Dr Paschal McKeown, Charity Director, Age NI said, “Living longer is a huge opportunity if we prepare and plan for our ageing population and take steps to ensure our communities are welcoming, accessible and inclusive places for us all to age well in. As we grow older, our local environment has a significant impact on our health, wellbeing and the quality of our lives.

“There is a real need to work together to remove the barriers older people face in participating fully in the life of their community. We will need to ensure that those who live with a health condition or disability, are less mobile or not online are not left behind. Age Friendly communities are essential for us all as we age, as consumers, as volunteers, workers and as care givers.

That is why we are calling on local council election candidates to pledge, if elected to:

  • Promote and embed good Age Friendly practice, planning and partnerships, as part of community planning processes.
  • Engage with older people’s groups and networks.  Listen to, understand and act on older people’s views to improve their local area.
  • Encourage and adequately resource age sector networks and groups that improve older people’s wellbeing and connections and reduce loneliness and social isolation.
  • Encourage Age Friendly partnerships to explore evidence based, intergenerational approaches to creating great places to grow older for everyone.

If you would like to ask local election candidates to support this pledge as they are canvassing, you can download and print a copy at home here: 

Pledge card for candidates


Read more from Age NI Policy and Engagement here.



Last updated: Jul 03 2023

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