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Advocating Age-Friendly City - Kinmen Setting Eyes on the Gold Medal

Advocating Age-Friendly City - Kinmen Setting Eyes on the Gold Medal
August 1st, 2017
Reporter: Yang Shuei-Yong/County Government’s Report

The first meeting of “2017 Age-Friendly City Advocacy Committee of Kinmen County”, organized by the Public Health Bureau of Kinmen County, was convened yesterday by the deputy convener Wu Cheng-Dian, Deputy Magistrate of Kinmen. Sub-committee conveners and committee members attended the meeting to review and examine this year’s age-friendly city implementation status in the county, and discuss the county’s participation in next year’s (2018) Taiwan Healthy City and Age-Friendly City Awards and the gold medal selection criteria. This is an opportunity to recap the results of age-friendly city implementation work and propagate the outcomes of the county’s effort in promoting healthy and active aging.
The first Age-Friendly City Advocacy Committee meeting this year was held at 10:30 am yesterday at the County Government Conference Room 1. The host Kinmen Public Health Bureau reported on the age-friendly community advocacy work. Four age-friendly communities were targeted for promotion this year, and contracts were signed for three to date, namely Sia Jhuang, Jheng Yi, and Hou Yuan. Implementation of the proposal content was scheduled to be completed before October 6th this year, with a report of the outcomes to be attached for case conclusion.
The Public Health Bureau indicated that five age-friendly demonstration sites are to be selected this year. The demonstration site selection guideline is being drafted, and expected to be issued to pharmacies, markets, and financial institutions in the county in early August. Site visits are to be carried out from September to October this year to check on the software and hardware facilities.
For the relevant selection criteria for Taiwan Healthy City and Age-Friendly City Awards, the Public Health Bureau has organized the first and second award selection guidance workshops in late June and early July, respectively. This year, the county expects to make eight submissions for awards, including three for Age-Friendly City – Innovative Result Award, one for Outstanding Proposal Award, and four for Healthy City – Innovative Result Award.
In addition, as an effort to guide Public Health Centers for age-friendly healthcare certification, two Public Health Centers were targeted this year. The Public Health Bureau indicated that certification guidance workshops and care training courses were held for the Public Health Centers at the end of June. This year, four Public Health Centers applied for age-friendly healthcare certification, and their self-assessment forms were completed and submitted prior to July 11th.
In Kinmen, seniors over 65 years old account for 12% of the county’s total population, indicating that the county is an aging society. To put more emphasis on building an age-friendly environment, the Public Health Bureau convened the first bureau group meeting in the first half of this year to lay out action plans and specify the indicators for outcome evaluation. Decisions of the meeting listed 26 items in the action plan, 36 evaluation indicators, and 31 local indicators (totally 93 items) to be kept track of continually. These items can specifically evaluate the results of the county’s effort in building an age-friendly environment.
To effectively encourage and motivate the bureaus’ involvement in promoting the age-friendly city project, and to improve the bureaus’ participation and implementation performance, the Public Health Bureau set down the reward guidelines for bureau participation in 2013. As of July 25th this year, the bureaus’ meeting and activity attendance data and timeliness of data submission were collected and rated to give the evaluation results. The top five bureaus for participation in age-friendly city project advocacy were the Kinmen Tax Bureau (first place), Kinmen Fire Bureau (second place), Kinmen Police Bureau (third place), Kinmen Environmental Protection Bureau (fourth place), and Kinmen Public Health Bureau (fifth place).
How many temples are there in the county currently? According to survey data, there are 194 registered temples in the county. The county has frequent religious activities, which are an important part of the elderly’s life. Thus, creating a friendly and safe worship environment is an important topic. Yesterday, the Age-Friendly City Advocacy Committee also discussed the relevant issues around the county’s age-friendly city action plan “accessible and friendly temple worship”. Installation of service bells and mobile barrier-free facilities was proposed to achieve the objective of accessible temples.
The Economics Affairs Department responded to the issue of installing accessible facilities in temples, stating the Building Technical Regulations specify that the accessibility requirements apply to buildings covering an area of 500 square meters or above. Temples in the county do not meet this criterion; thus, accessible facilities and equipment are not required. However, newly built temples are required to have accessible facilities and equipment to create a friendly environment. In addition, the Civil Affairs Department conducted a survey on temples regarding the installation of accessible facilities, and found that the temples were not willing to do so. Wu Cheng-Dian hoped that the Civil Affair Department may take a more proactive stance in this initiative and come up with coping measures and handling methods, as well as convene project meetings to discuss the ways to push forward.
Dai Syu-Jhih, an expert in the topic, took a different perspective and suggested that the project can be undertaken spontaneously by the people by raising awareness, and this can stimulate diverse thinking. Government subsidies and community planners’ participation can be used to spark off ideas and develop consensus of the temples’ need to install accessible facilities and equipment.
In addition, the county began promoting the healthy and age-friendly city program in 2012. To propagate the county’s age-friendly city advocacy results, and improve the county’s chances of award, the Public Health Bureau indicated that the county should set eyes on the “gold award” and plan accordingly based on the advisory experts’ suggestion. The “Senior Learning Advocacy Program of Kinmen County” should be key project for contending next year’s award. This can also be used to propagate the related healthy and age-friendly city issues and results.

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  • Date:2017-12-12