Sydney’s Hornsby Shire Council has adopted a new healthy ageing plan for the municipality.
Mayor, Philip Ruddock says the plan focusses on improved accessibility, activities to support physical and mental health, and opportunities to be involved in the design of built environments for Seniors living in the local government area.
The initiatives and more are outlined in ‘Healthy Ageing Hornsby 2022-2026’, Council’s Healthy Ageing Strategy, adopted at last night’s Council meeting.
“As our population ages, having a local strategy to address ageing and to support older residents is a priority for us,” said Mayor Ruddock.
“It is particularly relevant to the Hornsby community as 24.1% of our Shire’s population is over 60 – a higher percentage than either the NSW or Australian average. We have therefore been proactive in developing a strategy to support this important group. I thank Councillor McIntosh for instigating important initiative through her original motion.”
“Working hand in hand with the community, our new Healthy Ageing Strategy provides a framework for us to build a more inclusive and positive Shire, enabling seniors to participate in all aspects of life.”
Working in tandem with the Disability Inclusion Action Plan, the Healthy Ageing Strategy details initiatives and programs Council will deliver to improve quality of life for seniors in four key areas: living in age-friendly environments; participating in inclusive communities; staying safe, active, and healthy; and being resilient and informed.
In preparing ‘Healthy Ageing Hornsby 2022-202’, Council engaged extensively with the community through public forums, a pop-up event, surveys and by establishing an advisory panel of local people, service providers, community groups and health professionals. It was adopted following an exhibition period during which over 200 organisations were also invited to comment.
“In delivering this strategy we will take a ‘whole of Council’ approach so that our mainstream services are more accessible to older people,” said Mayor Ruddock.
“It is designed to be a living document and we will continue to seek feedback from our community members and advisory groups to ensure it remains effective and relevant.”
Council last night also appointed seven volunteer community members to its new Hornsby Art & Cultural Advisory Group. The group was formed to provide a formal mechanism for Council to consult with key stakeholders, seek specialist advice and enable community members to participate in arts and cultural planning through the development of an Arts and Cultural Plan. Council also resolved to amend the committee’s Terms of Reference to include an additional three members to represent Aboriginal arts, accessible arts and multi-cultural arts and will call for expressions of interest.