The European Year of Active Ageing kicks off in Leeds this week with a special event on 9 January.
Older people, front-line staff from Leeds City Council and other public sector organisations, and people from the voluntary and community sector in Leeds will come together with the joint aim of finding out what people’s hopes and aspirations are for themselves and their families as they get older, and how everyone can work together to promote health and wellbeing for all.
The information and insights gathered during the event will be used by the new Health and Wellbeing Board in Leeds to help set its priorities for the coming year.
This is a key part of the ongoing work that the council and its partners have been doing to promote ageing well. The number of older people in Leeds is increasing and there are now 15% more people over the age of 85 in the city than there were in 2001. This means that the NHS and other support services across Leeds have to make changes in order to accommodate people’s changing needs.
Many of the changes associated with getting older can be positive and bring new and enjoyable opportunities, such as supporting grandchildren, having more leisure time or a chance to do voluntary work. However, there is also a need for organisations to work together to ensure that the right kind of support is available for the people who need it.
During the event at Leeds Civic Hall, guests will be challenged to find more people that are willing to share their views.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care said:
“I am very excited by this event as it will give older people and front-line staff across the whole of Leeds an opportunity to come together and share ideas about our priorities for the future.
“Older people have a huge amount of talent and experience to share and it is important that they play a full part in the conversations we have about the types of support and services that we might need to provide in the future.”
The European Year of Active Ageing aims to raise awareness of the issues around an ageing society and to improve opportunities for active ageing. This might involve helping people to stay in the workforce for longer to share their experience if that’s what they want, or enabling people to play an active role in society and live as healthy and fulfilling lives as possible. For more information please visit the website http://ec.europa.eu/social/ey2012.jsp
Health and Wellbeing Boards are new bodies, which will bring together those who commission services across the NHS, public health, social care, children’s services, councillors and representatives from HealthWatch to plan the right services for their area. They will look at all health and care needs together, with the aim of joining up and integrating services rather than retaining artificial divisions between services. Subject to Parliamentary approval, boards will be up and running in April 2013 at the same time as GP consortia take on responsibility for the NHS budget.
For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578