“The aging population is increasing at a massive rate and that the need for supportive infrastructures has escalated. They are critical to our well-being. Throughout our lives we build life experiences, skills, and activity preferences. When we become older, this continues. We do not become one generic group. We need environments that support both our need for continued intellectual and emotional growth and our physical change.” Cynthia Nakayama CPG, Associate Director, Centre for Age-Friendly Excellence, Los Altos California.
At the same time as cities are growing, their share of residents aged 60 years and more is increasing. Older people are a resource for their families, communities and economies in supportive and enabling living environments.The elder and senior leaders in our communities are our teachers, advisors, mediators, role models and friends. As they age, they require support to remain engaged and involved in our communities. We want to demonstrate that we hold them in high regard as they are keepers of the living history of each community. We can be respectful and willing to hear their opinions and guidance. We need their voices at all of “the tables.”
Older adults experience barriers to their full participation in community life. They encounter ageism and a lack of resources for transportation, technology, a lack of appreciation. and a failure to be included.
Training for elders and potential elder leaders – clear and appropriate background briefings, social media/technology training, encouragement for story-telling and memoir writing
Ongoing support – building respectful community engagement is key including compensation for transportation, social meals, intergenerational gatherings, phone calls for engagement, video participation, financial help with computers/printers and internet service (when needed), reminders, recognition and appreciation.
The Age Friendly London Network has provided leadership training for AFLN volunteers in the past. In this New Year, the workshop “Using Assertiveness and Facilitation Skills for Better Meetings” will be repeated. Membership in the Network is open to anyone with an interest in supporting the London vision of an Age Friendly city * to join the Network contact Michelle Dellamora at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-661-2500 ext 7208