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Glasgow City Council

Glasgow aims to make city a great place to grow old

Published Thursday, November 10, 2016

Older people in Glasgow feel valued as members of their community, are content with how often they are in touch with other people, have been physically active in the past week and are positive about the city's parks, home care and culture and leisure services.

The findings come as part of report to establish a 'baseline assessment' of what older people's experiences in Glasgow to help inform the council in its work to develop the Age Friendly Glasgow strategy. 

Since becoming a member of World Health Organisation's Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities in March 2015, the council has been consulting with older people to understand what it would take for Glasgow to be a great place to grow old.

Through focus groups, wider surveys and drawing upon some existing research, it was found that older people in Glasgow already identify many factors that allow them to have a good quality of life.

The report showed that over 80% of older people had a strong connection to their community and that they also have the right amount of contact with other people. Likewise 80% of people aged over 65 said they had taken part in at least one sport or physical activity in the past week.

There was also broad satisfaction with services with 77% of older people having a positive view of public transport, 95% of older people who visited a Glasgow museum or gallery having a satisfying experience with an 88% satisfaction rate for the city's parks.

Over two-thirds of older people also felt safe in their neighbourhoods and 79% satisfied with the condition of Glasgow's street lighting among many other positives.

However, the report also identified areas where improvement is required as far as older people are concerned. This includes better customer care on public transport, more public toilets and places to sit, a demand for more age friendly information and better access to housing, a handyperson and volunteering opportunities.

Developing an understanding of the 'baseline assessment' has led to 40-point action plan that will help to shape services for older people in Glasgow over the next three years.

Councillor Archie Graham, Glasgow City Council's Depute Leader and Executive Member for Equalities, welcomed the findings as a strong starting point from which to achieve the objectives in the Age Friendly Glasgow strategy.

He said: "Our ambition is to make Glasgow a great place to live for older people.  This report shows that a very significant proportion of our older population have a strong affinity with their home city.  In general our older people take a favourable view of what it's like to live in Glasgow and that's very encouraging.

"But while many of the building blocks are already in place, we are also receiving clear messages on the things older people want and where we need to do better.  We now have an extensive action plan in place that deals with matters such as transport, civic participation, housing and health that will help us live up to the ideals of an age friendly city.

"We want Glasgow to be a place where older people can live life to the full and people of all ages are valued and respected. Our Age Friendly Glasgow strategy will help to ensure that older people remain at the heart of what goes on in Glasgow."

Key points for the council from the action plan include:

-        Working with Strathclyde Passenger Transport to develop the Thistle Assistance Card, which will help bus drivers identify passengers who need additional time to reach their seats safely

-        Working with Volunteer Glasgow to increase age appropriate volunteering opportunities

-        Embracing new technology and advances in telecare to allow older people to continue to live at home for as long as possible.

-        Implement a footway resurfacing programme to ensure older have access to outdoor spaces.

Following approval by the council's Executive Committee, the baseline assessment and the Age Friendly Glasgow strategy will now be submitted to the World Health Organisation. Implementation of the action plan will begin in early 2017.

Around 83,000 people over the age of 65-years currently live in Glasgow, approximately 14% of the population.  The city's population over 50 population is predicted to rise by 57,000 by 2037.

According to national estimates, around 1 in 25 people will experience dementia by the age of 70, rising to almost 1 in 5 by the age of 80.


Published Thursday, November 10, 2016

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