Older Persons Reference Group gathers feedback

Published on 31 October 2018

Older Person's Reference Group Horsham.jpg

Horsham’s Older Persons Reference Group has completed its research on ways to improve Horsham as a place where older people live safely, enjoy good health and stay involved in the community.

Established in March, the 12-member Group surveyed the Horsham community in July and August when about 180 people were asked about their physical and social environments and what might make their community more age friendly.

Horsham Rural City Council Director Community Wellbeing Kevin O’Brien said the assessment was based on the World Health Organisation’s checklists for Age Friendly Communities.

“The Group’s task was to determine what aspects of Horsham enable people to stay active and engaged as they age – and what areas need improving,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Reference Group will now collate its findings and make recommendations to Council through the development of an Aged Friendly Action Plan.”

Positive results included access to venues such as the Horsham Town Hall, YMCA and U3A which provide important events and opportunities for social connection.

The results also showed local bus and taxi services were reliable, clean, comfortable and affordable and the drivers were courteous.

Areas for improvement were transport options to Melbourne and Ballarat as well as between medical and other key facilities in Horsham. 

Access to parking is an ongoing concern, because as people age or are unwell, they may only be able to walk short distances.

The survey also found older people did not always feel consulted or that their input was valued and more shade in the central activity district was important during summer.

The full results will be detailed when the recommendation is presented to Council.