Tartu developing age-friendly living environment

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Pensioners. Photo is illustrative. Source: (Martin Dremljuga/ERR)

Tartu City Government will create an age-friendly city strategy, aimed at transforming the city as a whole into a holistic age-friendly area throughout one's life.

The strategy focuses largely on the elderly and on the needs and wishes accompanying ageing. The population is ageing, in Europe as a whole, as well as in Estonia and Tartu.

The aim of the strategy is to look at ageing as a normal process, one that is not limited to the need for help, and also to give today's young people and middle-aged people the opportunity to talk about how they would like to live as an elderly person in the City of Tartu.

Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas (Reform) said greater attention must be paid to ensure the decisions taken today also support the residents of Tartu in their old age.

"Many solutions that are suitable for the elderly are also universal and suitable for people of all ages – so it is that the low-floor buses in Tartu's public transport network are also convenient for people travelling with prams and working-age people with reduced mobility. Many services in Tartu can be obtained without leaving home, and the cultural activities of both children and the elderly are supported in the same way," he said.

Deputy Mayor Mihkel Lees added that the elderly are assisted by welfare masters and care coordinators in Tartu.

"Last week, we started with elderly walking groups, and for several years an elderly fall-prevention programme and training sessions have been taking place. In order to maintain well-being in old age, we have increased the focus on activities that promote healthy lifestyles, starting with children and young people, all the way to people of a more advanced age," said Lees.

The City of Tartu's age-friendly city environment strategy is being prepared by Civitta Eesti AS, who will involve not only the various departments of the Tartu City Government, but also city residents and interest groups, in the preparation of the strategy. The strategy for the age-friendly city will be completed by autumn 2021.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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