Leeds City Council has announced a new partnership which they argue will make Leeds ‘the best city to grow old in’ with improvements in transport and housing proposed.
The new partnership between the council, Leeds Older People’s Forum (LOPF) and the Centre for Ageing Better will study ways to make Leeds an ‘age-friendly city’ over the next five years.
It will explore ways to improve and increase access to community transport across the city, and test ways to boost volunteering and community activity amongst those aged 50 and over.
Volunteering has been shown to improve older people’s well-being as well as having direct benefits for communities.
The partnership will focus particularly on those who may face challenges to involvement. These might include older people from low income backgrounds or from black and minority ethnic communities.
The partnership will also look at ways to improve housing for people in later life by focusing on supporting people to live independently and well in their own homes and improving access to information on housing.
It will also consider giving older people the option to move home with extra support when needed, and it will look into ensuring their needs and views are considered in the building of new houses in the city.
It is estimated that by 2021 the number of people in Leeds aged 50 and over will increase by nearly 25,000 (an increase of 8% since 2011) and people aged 80 and over will increase by more than 8,000 (an increase of 10% since 2011).
‘Leeds city has a long track record in supporting a better later life for its residents, something this partnership will build on as part of our ambition to make Leeds the best city to grow old in,’ Cllr Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council executive member of health, wellbeing and adults.
‘Older people currently provide informal volunteer services to their community saving millions of pounds each year.
‘That figure is predicted to grow as our older population increases and this partnership can help harness the goodwill, ambition and community strengths we have to make lives better for the older people of Leeds.’