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IFA Virtual Town Hall Chat Summary 8 May 2020

The following chat summary is from the IFA Virtual Town Hall on 8 May 2020 with Ms. Catherine McGuigan sharing an age-friendly perspective.


Age-Friendly Practices


Upcoming Events

  • Human Rights of Older Persons Webinar
    Tuesday 12 May 2020 at 2:00 pm Geneva CET / 8:00 am New York EDT
  • IFA Virtual Town Hall | COVID-19 and Older People: Lessons Learned in the Long-Term Care Setting
    Friday 15 May 2020 at 7:00 am Toronto EDT



Age-Friendly Networks

  • COVID19 pandemic is illustrating that sometimes under the harshest of conditions emerge the best and most innovative of human impulses. Some community-led responses from Age-friendly Ireland and elsewhere:
  • In Toronto there has been work towards an Aging Strategy. More collaboration is needed through the not-for-profit sector and private organizations. 
  • Co-production is dependent on organizations coming together and thinking outside the box, creating new initiatives, working together and breaking down silos.
  • Interest in learning about how to engage policy makers and gain their support towards becoming Age-Friendly.
  • When beginning the process, is it best to first approach the Mayor of a city for their support?
  • It seems that as countries and communities begin a phased approach to the resumption of normalcy, a strategy needs to be developed specifically for older adults. There may be a need to do consultation with older adults to make sure such strategies meet their needs, hopes and emotional requirements.



  • EU funded project Homes4Life ( working on a European certification scheme for age-friendly housing, and developing appropriate indicators.
  • Delighted Homesharing is also one of the housing models being looked at. There are 18 countries around the world who have Homesharing projects.
  • Focusing on architecture be a tangible tool to enhance the quality of life of the elderly in Nigeria. It is a new approach to the vulnerable elderly in Nigeria.
  • How are homeless people included in Age-Friendly responses?



  • Older people are standing back and respecting their civic duty which should be recognised and is a way of countering some of the ageist attitudes that have been obvious.
  • Has the incidence of elder abuse gone down since the establishment of the Age-Friendly Network?
  • Article “Why Brazil’s President Needs to Change His Tune About Older People”


Loneliness, Social Isolation & Technology

  • There is growing loneliness and increasing number of older adults living alone in India.
  • Mosaic Home Care Services & Community Resource Centres – Mapping the Social and Emotional:
  • Mosaic Home Care Services & Community Resource Centres – Activity Booklet:
  • Ireland has developed the Age Friendly Smart Table known has MyAcorn which was developed by and for older persons. This has been a great help for everyone to reduce isolation and loneliness and keeping connected.
  • The Bridging Ages Life Stories Project is an intergenerational programme linking schools and local community groups with older, lonely or vulnerable residents. Updated toolkit/software allows individuals to access all materials and on-line book generator so that anyone can communicate with their neighbours/relatives etc. and can write a Life Story book which can be a memory book kept for ever by families (
  • IBM is working with Aging 2.0 São Paulo, but perhaps there will be expansion on other projects.
  • Men’s Shed is now virtual in Ireland ( This may be an opportunity for other similar initiatives such as Men’s Shed for the Alzheimer Society of Toronto


Long-Term Care

  • Encouraging example of age-friendly good practices in a long-term care facility from Lyon, France:
  • How will the reforms to the long-term care sector promised in Ireland’s Slaintecare plan proceed in the aftermath of the pandemic given the inevitable economic recession. We will likely see a decrease in public funding for the long-term care sector, and this calls into question whether the promised shift towards home care in particular will be at all possible.
  • This pandemic is adding social and emotional burden on aged adults living away from their families who may already experience a sort of social exclusion. Are there any specific guidelines to be followed in the long term care settings to uphold the physical health as well as psychosocial wellbeing?



  • What approach has Ireland used to encourage older people to exercise and be physically active in the current crisis and restrictions and how have the outdoors and built environment been used?
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