Keep elderly young at heart – Install swings at bus stops

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Older people are saying that cities should be overhauled to include elements of fun to an aging population.

A report which has been jointly published by Age UK and the International Longevity Centre, containing ideas from older people, charities, councils, consumer groups and other organisations including the RAC Foundation.

Some of the recommendations contained in the report include:

• Redesigning cities to make them suitable for an aging population by installing swings at bus stops in a bid to keep older people young at heart

• Offering facilities such as banks of electric bicycles or tricycles for hire on street corners, futuristic ‘urban pods’ to transport people and outdoor gyms suitable for all ages will help people get around more easily and overcome loneliness

• Resetting pedestrian crossing times to allow people longer to cross the road

• Redesigning road markings and signs to make them clearer to older drivers

• Implementing a large house building programme for the older generation in an attempt to allow society to cope with the changing population

• The installation of additional park benches and more public lavatories

• The health regulator to make it a requirement for care homes to provide people access to gardens

• Estate agents to receive adequate training to allow them to identify the most suitable residences for older people

• The extension of cycle networks in a bid to encourage older people to use cycling as a method of getting from A to B, instead of assuming that it is a sport suitable for young people only

• The replacement of triangular road signs warning drivers that older people are crossing the road with more ‘positive imagery’

It places emphasis on the requirement to make cities and towns places of fun.

The Chief Executive of ILC-UK, Baroness Greengross, said that a bold and aspiration vision is required for communities in an aging society and this should be much bigger than simply providing more toilets.

The Director of Age UK, Caroline Abrahams, said that the alternative would be that older people are stuck at home for longer periods and cut off from society which limits their ability to remain independent, socialise and enjoy life.

Image Credit: Jeremy Tarling

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