Town planning for ageing population

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by Alexia Johnston

Fairlie’s ageing population is the focus of a new project.

Heartlands Fairlie has established an ageing strategy to help the community better prepare for growth in the 50-plus age group.

The first ageing strategy meeting will be held on November 21.

Anne Thomson, of the Heartlands resource centre, which is leading the group, said anyone interested in learning more about the project was welcome to attend. The aim was to make Fairlie “older-folk friendly” and to find out what needed to be done to prepare for growth in the town’s ageing population, she said.

“It’s [about] coming together and talking about how we could possibly make small changes in this very small community to accommodate [the growth].”

Although anyone was welcome to assist with the ageing strategy project, it would be of particular interest to people aged 50 and over, she said.

It would give those people an opportunity to think about what they could benefit from in the future and ensure their ideas were heard.

Advance Care Planning was among the initiatives that would be discussed, to get more people thinking about preparing for their future and end-of-life care.

“It’s something we would like to have – a definite pathway towards the future.”

There were already some projects established in the town to benefit the older generation, including home visits.

“But I think we have to go beyond that. We have to address the future,” Ms Thomson said.

“A lot of people still want to be learning and gaining skills and learning stuff as they get older. We know they are such great folk and eager to learn more about the world. [But,] just because we are older doesn’t mean you have to sit and vegetate.”

The ageing strategy meeting will take place on November 21 at the Mackenzie Community Centre at 7.30pm.