THE quality of life of older people living in Bandon is set to be improved, thanks to a new initiative.
The town has been awarded funding from the County Council for the next two years to implement the Age Friendly Programme – a national strategy designed to improve the quality of life for older people through extensive consultation and identification of key issues.
It’s already in place in more than 25 towns throughout the country including Kinsale, Cobh and Mitchelstown.
An Age Friendly Town Committee will oversee the programme in Bandon bringing together diverse organisations, groups, services and businesses with the interests and needs of older people and people with mobility issues central to their goals. Mary O’Brien is its chairperson, with Pauline Crowley as secretary, Mary Meehan as treasurer and Carol Crean as PRO.
With work being undertaken by the OPW, the drainage scheme and the planned development of the town, the committee felt this was a good time to organise and put plans in place to cater for older people and those with mobility issues when the infrastructural plans are rolled out.
‘As life expectancy increases, the need to ensure that Bandon becomes a great town in which to grow old is increasing too,’ said a spokesperson. ‘Very often simple things will improve everyone’s quality of life. Secure neighbourhoods that 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.’
A suggestion box has been placed at St Michael’s Centre on South Main St and at Bandon Day Care Centre for observations or practical ideas. For more information on the initiative or to make suggestions email [email protected]