Project Description

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1. Outdoor Spaces and Buildings

In a survey of 256 older adults conducted between January and February 2017, 82% of older people surveyed liked living in their neighbourhood a lot.
However, only 13% of people were happy with the availability of seats and resting places; this is considerably less than other counties at 46%1. 29% of those surveyed in Carlow were satisfied with paths and pavements v 60% in other areas and 25% are satisfied with traffic calming measures v 46% in other counties.

As expected access to toilets continues to provide a challenge in all areas of Ireland surveyed. The average rate of dissatisfaction nationally with access to toilets is 64% with some areas as high as 80%. 48% of older people in Carlow were dissatisfied with access to toilets while out and about. In general, the levels of dissatisfaction with outdoor spaces and public buildings were higher among the 55 – 69 years age group, with those over 70 more satisfied. 67% of those surveyed were satisfied with the service provided by supermarkets and local shops and 59% were satisfied with access to green areas and parks and satisfaction with service provided by banking services were lowest at 53%.

Issues raised by Older Adults

“Pedestrian crossings are too close to roundabouts for walkers and drivers”
“Dog fouling is a real problem and difficult for older people”.
“More suitable seating is needed and resting places including at bus stops”.
“The town centre is littered and very unpleasant in general”
“Age-Friendly Parking spaces need to be expanded into other villages and areas”
“Lighting is really important, in housing areas and town”
“A lot of pavements are broken and damaged”

Short Term Actions ( 2017 )

Dog fouling on public pathways was identified as an area of major concern for older people. The Environment Department of Carlow County Council will try to tackle /improve this situation through the provision of an awareness campaign in Carlow Town. Older people will be invited to participate as well as the Carlow Older Persons Forum.

Carlow Older Persons Forum aim to increase the number of age-friendly parking spaces in the centre of Carlow town and investigate the possibility of having free Age Friendly parking spaces for a number of hours on Thursday/Friday mornings to allow older people to collect their pensions.  Carlow Older Persons Forum aim to identify and increase awareness of all public toilets, and encourage local businesses to provide free and welcoming toilet facilities to the older people of County Carlow, with the aim of creating a ‘toilet trail’ which will be readily available.

The Transport section of the Carlow Local Authority will consult, prepare and adopt a street furniture policy to ensure consistency and suitability of all street furniture including seating, bins, and signage.

Carlow Volunteer Centre will work with other agencies to support older adults use of Outdoor Spaces and Buildings. Currently, Carlow Volunteer Centre refers volunteers to a variety of organisations that are working towards the improvement or utilisation of outdoor spaces. These include but are not limited to An Gáirdín Beo, Carlow Sports Partnership, Delta Garden Centre and Environmental Clean Up Days.

Carlow Library Services will ensure all four branches are accessible, user-friendly and welcoming. This will be achieved by:-
 Conducting age-friendly audits and risk assessments of each library building.
 Providing age-friendly areas in each library with appropriate seating, signage and materials.
 Ensuring all libraries are clean, pleasant and well maintained.
They will also ensure all libraries allow freedom of movement with non-slip floors and unobstructed passageways

Carlow County Development Partnership will aim to ensure that all of their events and training for older persons are held in accessible, security conscious buildings and community centres over the lifetime of this strategy.

Local Authority Engineers and Planners will ensure, when assessing planning applications that all new residential and commercial developments have adequate lighting to ensure public safety. They will also ensure when assessing applications for signage that being age-friendly is a consideration.

County Carlow Museum will continue to provide their services in an age-friendly way as outlined in their Age Friendly Charter including providing visitor chairs with fixed arms in each of the four display galleries and ensuring that staff will accompany visitors in the Museum lift for ease of movement between galleries.

The Community Section of Carlow County Council will ensure that Carlow County Council embeds Carlow Age Friendly principles in all its strategic plans, services and programme of works

The Corporate Service section of the Local Authority will aim to mainstream consciousness of age-friendly design into all urban planning and design, including the public realm, transportation, open spaces, housing and other elements of Local Authority services. The section will deliver these changes through training of staff and ensuring that age-friendliness remains foremost in designers mind working in conjunction with the Age-Friendly Committee.

of people were happy with the availability of seats and resting places
of those surveyed in Carlow were satisfied with paths and pavements
are satisfied with traffic calming
of older people in Carlow were dissatisfied with access to toilets while out and about.

Medium Term Actions ( 2017 )

Carlow Older Persons Forum, (supported by Carlow County Council) will carry out Age Friendly Walkability audits and continue to identify issues with uneven footpaths, signage, unsafe public spaces and environments.

Local Authority Engineers and Planners will incorporate relevant policies and objectives into Development and Local Area Plans to ensure future public amenities are age-friendly. They will also ensure that the relevant policies and objectives are imported to ensure public spaces and buildings, lighting and signage is more age-friendly.

The Health Service Executive at St. Luke’s General Hospital will continue with its Age-Friendly development plan and aim to conduct a dementia-friendly audit.

The Health Service Executive will continue to work with the Carlow Hospice Group in 2017 to complete the refurbishment of the Palliative Care Suites at the Carlow District Hospital.

Long Term Actions ( 2017 )

Carlow Older Persons Forum will endeavour to work closely with planners and Carlow County Council to ensure that new builds and schemes are ‘age proofed’.

Area Engineers, Transport and Planning sections of the Local Authority will also review policies during the lifetime of each Local Area Development Plan to ensure that age friendly spaces, buildings and public amenities are being imposed.

Carlow Older Persons Forum in partnership with Bank of Ireland Carlow aim to collaborate through its county-wide branches to make them more age-friendly and inclusive by providing ‘go-slow’ lanes, access to machine training for older customers, and age-friendly days with the particular focus on customer service, more seating facilities inside and parking facilities outside etc.

were satisfied with the service provided by supermarkets and local shops
were satisfied with access to green areas and parks