Junior Ministers Emma Pengelly and Jennifer McCann today launched the Government’s Active Ageing Strategy, aimed at enabling older people to enjoy the benefits and rewards of life for as long as possible. They highlighted the contribution of older people must be valued and celebrated.
The Strategy outlines the Government’s commitment to support older people to live actively to their fullest potential; stressing their rights and valuable contribution to society and challenges all forms of ageism. It focuses on five key themes of independence, participation, care, self-fulfilment, and dignity.
Junior Minister Emma Pengelly said: “The Active Ageing Strategy is welcome news for all the older people in Northern Ireland. It shows how highly we value their contribution to their communities and highlights the issues that may be obstacles they face to fully participate in our society. The Strategy aims to remove those obstacles and help older people enjoy life for as long as possible. It also aims to challenge ageism, reverse any negative stereotyping and ensure older people are aware of the rights they are entitled to.
“This Strategy will make a real difference to the quality of older people’s lives and, in turn, benefit all of the people in Northern Ireland.”
Junior Minister, Jennifer McCann said: “This strategy will provide a renewed focus and direction for departments’ policies and ultimately lead to the improvement of services for all older people.
“Older people enrich our society every single day. Their life experience, knowledge, contribution to the community, and central role in supporting working families are often the glue that holds society together.
“As our population continues to live longer, we must do all we can to create a society which celebrates ageing, acknowledges the valuable input of older people and supports them to keep active and continue to enjoy longer, healthy lives.”
The Active Ageing Strategy aims to deliver outcomes across Government Departments which support older peoples’ quality of life in key areas around: living independently; involvement in civic and community life; health and social care; employment; participation in cultural, educational and physical activity; and dignity and human rights.
Actions in the first phase include work to address fear of crime, fuel poverty through the affordable warmth scheme, digital inclusion and support for people with dementia, their families and carers.
The Strategy covers the period 2016 -2021. It has been agreed by the Executive and is part of the Delivering Social Change initiative. The views and input of older people, as well as representative groups and community and voluntary sector organisations, contributed to the development of the Strategy.