An Article written for AARP, United States by Dr Emer Coveney, National Programme Manager, Age Friendly Ireland.
Developing Age Friendly Towns revolves around the ethos that if you design for the young, you exclude the old, but if you design for the old, you include everyone. A significant component of preparing for population aging is the development of Age Friendly Towns, which are smaller, discrete geographic areas such as a town, village, or a suburban community within a larger urban area. An Age Friendly Town plans for the older person’s needs, supports active aging, and facilitates older adults to remain living in their own homes and communities. Age Friendly Towns consider citizens’ needs in a holistic way, focusing not just on the built environment but also on access to services, cultural opportunities, safety and security, and residents feeling connected to the community. There are about 60 Age Friendly towns in Ireland at various stages of development, with 29 having completed the process.