University kick starts discussions about making Coventry an ‘age friendly city’

Researchers, policy makers, charitable groups and other interested parties will be discussing ideas for improving the lives of older residents at a special event taking place at Coventry University this month.

The University’s Age Research Centre (ARC) will be hosting the Age Friendly Cities and Communities Open Day on Thursday 17 January 2013. The event forms part of the University’s Ageing Society Grand Challenge Initiative, which is looking to change perceptions about ageing and older people.

Tackling the challenges that an ageing population presents is something that cities around the world are facing up to and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has set up a Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC) which work together to better meet the needs of older residents.

Any city or community that is committed to creating inclusive and accessible urban environments to benefit their ageing population is welcome to join and the Open Day in January forms a first step along the way towards Coventry playing a major part in this worldwide network.

The University together with key stakeholders across the city is also working towards helping Coventry achieve the World Health Organisation’s ‘Age Friendly City’ status, a coveted award which is granted to cities which ‘age proof their services, provisions and future’ for the benefit of all residents, young and old.

Dr Christine Broughan, Co-Director of Coventry University’s Ageing Society Grand Challenge Initiative, said: “The number of older people in Coventry is set to rise over the next 20 years and with the current austerity measure facing the City Council we need to think of new ways of tackling issues such as poverty and loneliness.

“We need to examine what can be done to make the city a better place for all age groups to live happily. We also need to stimulate radical changes in our traditional attitudes and approaches towards older people to ensure that they are not seen as a burden but rather as an asset to be celebrated.

“We’re working closely with the City Council, Age UK Coventry and other key organisations to make Age Friendly living a priority in the City and this Open Day forms a key part of this process.”

The Age Friendly Cities and Communities Open Day will include presentations, workshops and discussions relating to different themes within the broader context of an ageing society with contributors from national, regional and local organisations.

The event is free to attend and takes place from 9.30am to 4pm on Thursday 17 January 2013 at Coventry University TechnoCentre, Puma Way, Coventry, CV1 2TT.

[otw_is sidebar=otw-sidebar-1]