Photo by Alex Blajan on Unsplash
Local authorities have an essential role to play in improving older people’s daily lives. As the 2020 municipal elections in France are getting closer, our French member organisation ‘Les Petits Frères des Pauvres‘ is proposing 10 measures to encourage elections candidates to integrate the fight against old age isolation into their political agenda.
In France, 300,000 older people in a situation of “social death”, deprived of family, friends or neighbourhood relationship and 3.2 million older people are at risk of social isolation. Convinced that solutions to combat isolation must be led by local players, Les Petits Frères des Pauvres seizes the momentum of the upcoming French municipal elections in March 2020 to recall that the fight against isolation is a cross-cutting issue covering housing, the development of public space, mobility, the maintenance of services and businesses, and digital exclusion.
The French anti-poverty organisation calls upon future local decision-makers to:
- Build a territorial policy of proximity to combat older people’s isolation by associating all local actors (public, private, associations, citizens)
- Make public space more accessible – urban planning, etc- to enable our seniors to live their daily lives like any other citizen
- Encourage and supporting civic commitment and community solidarity
- Facilitate local mobility: transport on demand, partnerships, etc.
- Encourage the maintenance and return of local services and shops
- Develop meeting and entertainement places where older persons live
- Support innovations such as places of conviviality and itinerant shops/services in rural areas and small communities
- Support the development of small alternative housing structures for seniors in the heart of the city with a home-based approach, and promote intergenerational housing that involves young and old and supports independent living
- Support the fight against older people’s digital exclusion (connection, equipment, uses, maintenance of human support for access to rights)
- Support the national ‘ social holiday assistance‘ policy and help seniors to go on holiday, including the very old and those in need of assistance.