Naas town centre
Businesses in Naas are being encouraged to make an extra effort to facilitate older people. Known as the Naas Age Friendly Business Recognition Programme, it’s part of a strategy to make it easier for people to use public areas.
Naas became the first Age Friendly town in Co Kildare in 2013 and since then a workability survey has been carried to assess possible areas of improvement. Some public seating, which is more comfortable for older people, has been provided in Naas and the timing at pedestrian crossings has been assessed.
The impetus to make places age friendly is supported by the World Health Organisation which is trying to address demographic ageing and urbanisation.
The advantages of facilitating older people is a two way street. Kildare county council official Pauric Buggy points out that older people are likely to have more disposable income and there are many low-cost or no-cost initiatives that businesses can implement in order to facilitate older customers.
“We would like businesses to have a member of staff assigned to be a ‘champion’ to deal with older customers. This would make it easier for people to shop and generate business at the same time,” he said.
The over-65 population of County Kildare is set to increase from 16,000 to 40,000 between 2011 and 2031.
It’s estimated that eh over 60 population in Ireland has 75% of the spending power.
The benefits to business include increased footfall, improves brand reputation and customer loyalty as well as promotional opportunities through the Kildare Age Friendly County Programme.
For older people the benefits include access to appropriate products and services and an improved shopping experience.
A programme workshop takes place at Aras Chill Dara on Tuesday May 31 from 6-7pm. Anybody seeking more information can contact Mr Buggy (980584) or Shane Nolan (980575).