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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

County commits to age friendly communities

Denbighshire County Council has made a commitment to play its part in creating age friendly communities county-wide.

At its meeting in County Hall, Ruthin today (Tuesday), the council agreed to sign a pledge to take forward work based on the World Health Organisation and the United Nations' principles to make their communities more age friendly.

The pledge,  known as the Dublin Declaration due to Ireland's presidency of the EU, highlights the need to create age friendly places, with a key focus on promoting awareness of older people, their rights, needs and potentials, as well as highlighting the positive social, economic and cultural contribution made by them.

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Cabinet Lead Member for Social Care, Adult and Children's Services, who is also Denbighshire's Older People's Champion, said: "People are living longer in our communities and we need to respond positively to this. It's not just about allowing people to live independently in their own homes. It's about celebrating the ageing population and listening to their views on what kind of opportunities we should explore to keep them fit, active and to participate in local community life.

"Living in a community that is sensitive to individual needs is something we all want to experience.  As the number of people living longer increases it's really important that councils consider ways to adapt surroundings and buildings to reflect the needs of an ageing population.

"Denbighshire is pleased to be signing up to this pledge and to raising awareness of older people issues in the county."

Following the declaration each council in Wales will participate in a national network, facilitated by Ageing Well in Wales, to collaborate on making changes, for example to buildings, homes, parks, leisure , planning, transport in order to help people living in their community to age well and lead positive lives,  irrespective of their age.

The Welsh Government recently announced phase three of their Strategy for Older People – Living Longer, Ageing Well (2013-2023) which sets the challenge to make our shared spaces welcoming, safe and accessible for older people.

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