Improving accessibility and promoting civic participation are two of the main goals Calp has set itself to become an age-friendly city. This morning, Rebeca Merchán, Councillor for the Elderly, together with Crea 360, the company responsible for drawing up the plan, presented the local action plan for the "Calp, towns for the elderly" project, which includes measures to adapt the municipality to this group and thus improve its quality of life.
The plan is the result of an initial study, 210 surveys and eight working groups in which older people from the municipality have contributed to the improvement of the municipality to adapt it to the needs of the elderly.
Among the measures envisaged in this document, those relating to accessibility and mobility deserve special mention, such as improving the condition and maintenance of footpaths, as well as the creation of footpaths in housing estates, adapted traffic lights and increasing the green time of traffic lights to make it easier for these people to cross intersections. The plan also provides for a series of aids to improve the accessibility of local businesses or the creation of bio-health parks, i.e. green areas with gymnastics equipment, as well as the promotion of public transport with adapted buses, better information on bus routes or better planning of routes, timetables and frequency of passages, among other proposals.
Particular attention is also paid to measures to promote the participation of this group in the social life of the city council, such as the creation of the Senior Citizens' Council, an advisory body that can make suggestions and proposals regarding the elderly and that will act as a discussion partner for this group before the city council. It is also planned to promote the respect and social integration of older people through a work experience programme that includes the organisation of events and lectures to highlight the life experience of older people in different areas of Calp.
The plan also includes other measures in the field of social and health services, such as the creation of a "centro de día" (day centre) or the extension of the home help service, as well as other areas such as housing or communication and information, among others.
"This local action plan is a necessary document that will help us prepare for the challenge of an ageing population and will allow us to start looking for solutions now," said Councillor Rebeca Merchán. It must be taken into account that 67 percent of the population of Calp is over 60 years old; that is why this initiative is so important.
Calp joined the Ageing Friendly Cities project in 2017, an initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization to create environments and services that promote and facilitate active and healthy ageing.