Mid and East Antrim Borough Council launches age friendly survey

Shauna Loughran

Reporter:

Shauna Loughran

MID and East Antrim Borough Council is launching a new age friendly survey as it works with the Public Health Agency to create an ‘Age Friendly’ borough – where older people can live full, active, valued and healthy lives.

Targeting over 50s who live in the borough, the questionnaire seeks to find out the positives and challenges of growing older within our communities.

Using the themes from the World Health Organisation (WHO) age friendly framework, the wide-ranging survey will cover topics such as housing, transport, community facilities, social participation as well as employment, outdoor spaces, health services, and more.

Commenting at the launch of the survey, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Alderman Noel Williams, said: “With advancements in medical care resulting in improvements in life expectancy, people are living longer and reaching older ages. This global phenomenon can be seen right here in the borough. In 2015 18.1% of the population in Mid and East Antrim was aged 65 and over. By 2030 it is projected that this figure will have increased to 24.6%, the second highest level in Northern Ireland.

“It could not be more important for us to ensure our borough adapts to a changing and aging population and ensure structures and processes are in place to support the health and wellbeing of our older residents. We are proud of the work we have already undertaken to make our borough an age friendly community. Our community planning process has identified ‘Responding to an Ageing Society’ as one of our core strategic priorities within its community plan ‘Putting People First’ to ensure that our older people are active, respected and supported in their community.

“As a council we value all input and I would encourage residents aged 50 and over to share their views and help us make the borough a great place for all our citizens to live and grow old in.”

Responses from the survey will help shape and inform the development of the borough’s first Age Friendly Strategy and Action Plan. The strategy and action plan will work to ensure all residents in the borough can live in security, enjoy good health, continue to participate fully in society, and feel valued and respected – regardless of age.

Janine Gaston, Senior Officer for Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement for the Public Health Agency. said: “We are very happy to support this programme. Age Friendly areas are essential for our ageing population. They are communities where age is not a barrier to living well and where the environment, activities and services support and enable older people to live full, active, healthy lives.”

The Mid and East Antrim Age Friendly Survey is in line with the Northern Ireland Executive Active Ageing Strategy 2016-22 and its vision of an ‘Age Friendly’ region where people can grow old, feeling valued and supported to live actively to their fullest potential, with their rights respected and their dignity protected.

The survey will be open until 31 July 2022. You can complete the survey by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.co.

uk/r/93QGXXM

Alternatively you can request a hard copy by contacting Helen McClean, Age Friendly Co-ordinator on 028 28 262498 or by emailing age.friendly@midandeastantrim.

gov.uk

If you prefer, our staff will be available to speak with you at our Community Health and Wellbeing Pop-up Shops

· Friday 1 July 2022 in Tower Centre, Ballymena

· Thursday 7 July 2022 in De Courcy Centre, Carrickfergus

· Wednesday 20 July 2022 in Main Street, Larne

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