Make Ennis A Great Place to Grow Old

According to the 2016 census figures, nearly 30% of the population in Ennis is 50 years old and over, and these numbers are continually growing.

I highlighted the needs of this population at the recent Clare County Council meeting when I called for a report on the action plan from the recently adopted 2nd Clare Age Friendly Strategy 2018-2022.

As an Ennis Councillor, I want to support and assist in any action plans from the Clare Age Friendly Strategy 2018-2022. With the population continuing to grow, I welcome this initiative for Ennis to become an age-friendly town in providing appropriate transport, community support, health services, social outlet and housing for the elderly of our community.

I got a response from Karen Fennessy, Age-Friendly Development Officer for Clare County Council:

“The Clare Age Friendly Alliance Board has over the last 12 months, developed the 2nd Age Friendly Strategy for the county. The Clare Age Friendly Alliance Board whose membership comprises senior decision makers of key agencies is due to discuss the implementation of the strategy’s action plan and in particular the formation of working groups to deliver the actions, at their next meeting scheduled for 27th November 2018.”

Age-Friendly Ireland has published many age-friendly initiatives such as developing a next of kin register for older people living alone, improving traffic light timings to give older people sufficient time to cross the roads safely and a Garda led training module on ‘Age Friendliness’ targeted at students in Primary and Secondary Schools. Infrastructure and awareness are not the only areas of need in creating a town that is an excellent place to grow old, and they also suggest social outlets like giving training to older people so that they can become tour guides in their local libraries and museums or sports programme designed for older people by the Local Sports Partnerships.

It’s urgent that our town address the opportunities and challenges faced by the older people of today and the future.