Thomastown-age Friendly Town-the Journey Begins.

Did you know that the town of Thomastown is developing a plan to make the town more age friendly?
Very often simple things will improve everyone's quality of life. Secure neighbourhoods are safe for children, youth and older adults. Barrier free buildings and streets enhance the mobility and independence of both younger and older persons with disabilities. The whole community benefits from the participation of older persons in volunteer work and civic activities.

Thomastown Age Friendly Town Committee
It is the vision of the Kilkenny Age Friendly programme and our ambition is to make Kilkenny a great county in which to grow old. If we all work together across our towns, villages and neighbourhoods we can do it. In Thomastown we have formed the Age Friendly Town Committee comprising of representatives from the Kilkenny Seniors Forum, Thomastown Community Network, An Garda Síochána, Health Services Executive, County Kilkenny Leader Partnership and Kilkenny County Council.

On-Street Survey
The next step in the process will see the completion of an on-street survey of older persons to obtain their views as to the key issues for them in the town. That on street survey is currently underway and when complete the information obtained will inform the development of the Action Plan.
More details later....

For Further details contact Michael Delahunty Kilkenny Age Friendly Programme, Kilkenny County Council Johns Green House, Johns Green, Kilkenny-056-7794988,087-2997223

Age Friendly Towns-Background Notes.

Populations are getting older all over the world. The same is true for Ireland.

Average Life Expectancy 100 years ago was in the region of 50 years- now its 76.8 years for men-81.6 years for women-Life expectancy for over 65's now higher than it has even been.
Ireland will experience an unprecedented ageing of the population in the first half of the twenty-first century and by 2041 there will be an estimated 1.3 million to 1.4 million people aged over 65 years, representing 20-25 per cent of the total Irish population.
The greatest increases are expected in the over-80 year's age group, where numbers are expected to increase four-fold from 110,000 in 2006 to about 440,000 in 2041.
1 in 4 newborns today will live to 100 years of age.
This represents a significant change for policy makers and service providers. We have to keep the older person front and centre of how we progress things into the future.
The philosophy is simple "If you design for the young you exclude the old but if you design for the old you include everyone".

Now is the time to prepare for this major change. Through Age Friendly Ireland initiatives, Ireland can rise to the challenge that lies ahead in a positive way and improve the lives of older people now and into the future. Age Friendly Towns is one of these initiatives and it is one that Kilkenny County Council is embracing. Callan was deemed to be an Age Friendly town a number of years ago. Now it is Thomastown's turn.

Kilkenny County Council is supporting the local Thomastown Age Friendly Town Committee with its plans to enable Thomastown to be an Age Friendly Town.

A number of key steps have already been undertaken including the formation of a Committee, the identification of the key walking routes in the town, the identification of and the mapping of the key community services and those services to older persons, 4 walk ability audits and the presentation of the Audit report to the Municipal District Engineer. Currently on street surveys are being undertaken.

The next steps will see the collation and interpretation of the information gathered from the surveys and a report prepared on its findings, further consultation with service providers and then, in consultation with Thomastown Seniors Citizens and the Thomastown Men's Shed the drafting of the Thomastown Age Friendly Action Plan. When 3 actions identified in that Action Plan have been complete Thomastown will be entitled to call itself an Age Friendly Town.

Michael Delahunty
Kilkenny Age Friendly Programme
Kilkenny County Council Johns Green House, Johns Green, Kilkenny-056-7794988,087-2997223


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