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MELKSHAM Seniors Group say they are pleased with the response the group has received to the idea of working towards an age-friendly community for the town.
In his August report, chairman of Melksham & District Seniors’ 55+ Forum, Brian Warwick says, “I am delighted that there has been a keen interest in the concept of making Melksham an Age Friendly Community, one in which to grow old in when the time arrives, and has the full support of the town council to encourage more active ageing facilities.
“Please do make a very special effort to come along on the 21st August to Melksham Town Hall at 2pm for the presentation by Jessica Entwistle, age friendly communities network manager for the National Centre for Ageing Better. This will be followed by a workshop on how Melksham could achieve becoming an agefriendly community.
“Do ensure your own local organisation is represented and that Melksham is recognised as a community that is prepared to actively strive to achieving great goals for creating a better and more friendly community – or just come along as an interested individual.
“Active ageing is a lifelong process and an age-friendly approach is not just ‘elderly friendly’, it benefits all age groups, with planning now and ensuring we provide the right desirable environment and facilities for a long and happy life style, we all benefit.
“All our different voluntary organisations young and old, churches, schools, businesses, retailers and local councils will all benefit from having an agreed concept and a foresighted approach to such a defined partnership approach. Cities like Manchester and Bristol are already benefitting considerably by their ongoing approach to achieving an age-friendly society.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) is at the very heart of promoting the concept and supporting communities such as Melksham. The WHO key strategy is to facilitate the inclusion of older persons to making our world more age-friendly. An age-friendly world enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. It is a place that makes it easy for older people to stay connected to people that are important to them. And it helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages and provides appropriate support to those who can no longer look after themselves.
“This can be best achieved at grass roots by aiming to improve the health and well-being of the whole community and to generate greater respect for one another.
“Local action to address global population ageing:-
“Making communities age-friendly is an effective local policy approach for responding to population ageing. The physical and social environments are key determinants of whether people can remain healthy, independent and autonomous long into their old age.
“The WHO age-friendly cities guide highlights 8 domains that communities can address to better adapt their structures and services to the needs of older people; the built environment, transport, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication, and community support and health services. Many of those services are provided by external sources, however by providing a stronger community voice with a defined target of meeting the aims outlined, we will strive to achieving a strong community and partnership that will bring about those desirable aims. It will take time, but much can be achieved in a relatively quick period with steady progression to creating Melksham as a truly age-friendly community.
“If you require any further information, then phone me on 01225 792959, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org”