The Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) Strategic Plan for Positive Ageing has been developed to lay down a blueprint for Canberra to support positive ageing and an age-friendly city. Seven strategic priority areas which aligned with the WHO domains of age-friendliness were identified in the Strategic Plan.
A number of initiatives and actions have been implemented. Examples include:
- “Seniors Information Online”, which is an online platform providing information for seniors on a variety of areas such as legal and safety, health and well-being, accommodation, recreation, lifelong learning and volunteering
- The annual Canberra Gold Award that recognises and honours the contribution of centenarians who have made long-term commitment to the ACT
- Publishing of the ACT Business Guides to Older Customers and to Mature Workers
- The launch of Older Persons Assembly representing Canberra’s older persons community to discuss resolutions to improve the age-friendliness of ACT.
In September 2011, Chiayi participated in the signing of the Dublin Declaration on Age-Friendly Cities in the First WHO International Conference on Age-friendly Cities to show its commitment in creating an ageing-friendly city. In 2014, Chiayi City Healthy City Promotion Association joined the membership of the International Federation of Ageing (IFA) which is one of the affiliated programmes under the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities.
Chiayi government was dedicated to building an age-friendly city in accordance with the WHO domains of age-friendliness. Relevant departments have been engaged in collaboration with universities, local research institutes, and non-governmental organisations in drafting action plans and promoting the age-friendly city projects through various community engagement activities.
The following achievements have been made:
- Setting up health check stations in community centres and convenience stores
- Rendering pick-up and transportation services for elders to attend events
- Training employees in the service sector to show respect for elderly people
- Organising the “Grandparents Festival”
- Providing vocational training courses and subsidy to older people
La Plata, Argentina
La Plata has been committed to improving the city’s age-friendliness since 2006. As part of the WHO Global Age-friendly Cities project, La Plata conducted a participatory baseline assessment in 2007 that led to the development of the Global Age-friendly Cities Guide.
Major works done by La Plata on improving age-friendliness in relation to accessibility and safety include installation of traffic lights with countdowns for pedestrian crossings, improving signposting and identification of bus stops, introduction of magnetic cards with bus fare discount for older people, and installation of safety cameras.
The City of London was the first city in Canada to join the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities in 2010. The Age-friendly London Task Force, which consists of volunteers of older adults, was set up to establish a vision of making London an age-friendly city, identify strategies for achieving the vision, and develop an action plan. Eight working groups based on the WHO domains of age-friendliness were also established to implement the initiatives of the action plan.
An example that addressed the transportation domain was the development of an education and training programme for all drivers on how to be sensitive to the needs of older adults and those with disabilities. Examples of community-driven changes were advocacy efforts to accelerate the construction of multi-purpose recreation facilities and the opportunities for older adults to participate in the design or redesign of community centres.
The Louth Age-friendly County Initiative aims to address the WHO’s eight domains of an age-friendly city and implement age-friendly projects to address older people’s needs across the county of Louth. On physical environment, Louth has extended the timing of traffic lights for older people and improved housing support services such as provision of meals and laundry facilities. In terms of social services, there have been increased opportunities of volunteer services for older people, and provision of training programmes for older people to learn how to use the Internet.
A range of county-wide projects and initiatives were also implemented, including:
- The Intergenerational Participatory Arts Project involving retirement groups and school students working together to create artworks
- The Louth Old People’s Forum (which is joined by older people, advocacy groups, service providers and community stakeholders) that organises regular meetings to discuss the needs of older people
Manchester, United Kingdom
Manchester was the first UK city to join the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities in 2010. Building on the Valuing Older People programme and the ten-year Manchester Ageing Strategy, the Age-friendly Manchester Development Plan centres around four themes: Age-friendly Neighbourhoods, Knowledge and Innovation, Age-friendly Services, and Involvement and Communication.
Adopting a citizenship-based approach, the Plan involves citizens as active members who lead the changes and includes a number of initiatives. For example, the Age-friendly Manchester Neighbourhood coordination group was set up as a platform for local groups and services to learn about ageing-related research, policy and practice. The older people were trained as community researchers to identify important issues to develop age-friendliness.
Besides, the membership in the Manchester Older People’s Forum has been expanded so that members had more opportunities to influence service redesign across the city through setting meeting agendas and developing core priorities. The Age-friendly Manchester Older People's Charter has recently been launched to illustrate what is required for an age-friendly city and to call for pledges from individuals and organisations to help improve the age-friendliness of Manchester.
As part of the national programme, the city of Qiqihar aims to build a city where older people can live happily through better medical care, contribution to society and engagement in life-long learning.
Qiqihar has made efforts on age-friendly work. To arouse public awareness on age-friendly concepts, the annual event of “Seniors Month” was initiated to encourage various sectors of the community, including various enterprises, organisations and individuals, to provide suitable assistance and services to older people. An annual award has been introduced with the aim of recognising the role models of the service industry for their respect towards older people.
Seoul, Republic of Korea
The “2020 Aging Society Master Plan” is a ten-year plan of the Seoul Metropolitan Government to embrace the vision of making Seoul an age-friendly city by 2020. To foster a “friendly society for ageing”, the Master Plan focuses on six main areas: healthy ageing, active living, productive senior citizens, an integrated society, convenient surroundings, and a redesigning infrastructure. The Age-friendliness Working Plan was established to address the main areas by implementing a number of tasks, such as discovery of diverse new jobs for seniors, and introducing a scheme that places college students and seniors in a house-share, where students provide seniors with basic day-to-day support in exchange for low rent.
The city has been running the Seoul Elderly Policy Monitoring Group since 2012 in order to provide more opportunities for older people to get involved in making policy decisions. Seniors’ awareness of the city’s senior policies is monitored and evaluated through survey assessment.