COTA’s Age Friendly Initiative
What is an Age Friendly Community?
Age friendly cities and communities are places where older people live safely, enjoy good health and stay involved. Guiding the development of Age Friendly places is a process that actively involves older people in decision-making, implementation and evaluation of a plan of action to bring about sustainable change.
Why is Age Friendly important?
People across Victoria are now living longer and healthier lives. This exciting change in the makeup of our society means there will soon be as many older people as there are children. People aged 80+ are the fastest-growing age group and this is bringing major social change. Many generations are now living, learning, working and socialising together.
An Age Friendly world enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. In Age Friendly communities older people live safely, enjoy good health and stay involved.
A brief history
In 2006 the World Health Organisation brought together 33 cities of varying sizes throughout the world to discover what makes a city a good place in which to grow old. Crucially, this initiative involved older people at every stage. In the same year, using the same approach, the Canadian Government worked with small rural communities to find out what small communities are age friendly. The recommendations from this work were released in 2007 in the WHO Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide and Age-friendly Rural and Remote Communities: A Guide.
Eight key domains were identified:
- Outdoor spaces and buildings
- Social participation
- Respect and social inclusion
- Civic participation and employment
- Communication and information
- Community support and health services.
Supporting communities to become age friendly is one of the most effective strategies to promote active ageing. Policies to create age friendly communities contribute to sustainable, healthy
In 2006 COTA, in partnership with the Municipal Association of Victoria, joined the WHO as one of two Australian cities in the international project on Age-friendly Cities. The McCaughey Centre at The University of Melbourne undertook the research on behalf of MAV/COTA with the City of Maribyrnong.
The COTA Age Friendly Victoria initiative was launched in March 2013. The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation provided $300,000 to us to develop a more supportive and inclusive society.
COTA and the Municipal Association of Victoria worked together for over five years to promote the concept of Age Friendly Communities.
In 2016 COTA signed the Statement of support and partner endorsement with the Victorian Government and MAV.
Since 2006 we have worked with the following ——– to create Age Friendly communities
What is COTA’s partnership approach?
We work with older people to establish local networks across government, business and community to develop an action plan to bring about positive change.
We mentor, train and support older people to act as consumer representatives on advisory groups and committees.
We work with local governments and community groups to engage local communities to develop Age Friendly cities.
What our partners say about COTA Age Friendly
[We have] appreciated COTA’s partnership and support … with the development of the Age Friendly Champions program through the delivery of the training workshop during the consultation phase of the Active & Healthy Ageing Initiative. Maroondah considers COTA Victoria to be an important partner in the Age Friendly space.
– Maroondah City Council
COTA Vic was engaged to assist us in consulting with our community in regard to the Age Friendliness … The staff and volunteers were knowledgeable, professional and receptive to our needs … and were able to engage with the community in a variety of methods to ensure a high level of participation. We received positive feedback from the community regarding COTA’s presentation and engagement methods and the information collected was presented to us in a useful manner, which has assisted the development of strategic documents for our organisation in regard to Age Friendliness.
– Moira Shire Council
I would like to acknowledge the support Cota staff provided for our communities in East Gippsland … we are grateful for the assistance to focus our efforts on working with such a large socio-demographic change. The work undertaken in East Gippsland by COTA staff has assisted communities to understand the concepts of what an Age Friendly community entails and how their voices can be heard in the ongoing discussion.
– Cr Joe Rettino, Mayor, East Gippsland
Contact us for more information
Acting Manager – Community Participation
p: 9655 2105