Kilkenny businesses to strive for Age Friendly accreditation

Brian Keyes

Reporter:

Brian Keyes

Kilkenny businesses to strive for Age Friendly accreditation

John Coonan and Faith Amond strutting their stuff at the Town Hall on High Street

In Ireland it is predicted that there will be 1.4 million people aged 65 and over by 2041, with this age group making up 22 per cent of the total population.
With this in mind, Age Friendly Ireland are at the forefront of building Age Friendly societies and Kilkenny has been involved in the process of becoming an Age Friendly county since 2010. This has involved consulting with older adults and developing a countywide strategy and action plan in response to needs identified in areas linked to social inclusion, transportation, housing, employment, community supports, health services and communications amongst others.
This week, a new programme was launched which will specifically focus on encouraging all Kilkenny city and county based retailers and service businesses to become accredited Age Friendly businesses. Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce President, Marion Acreman, explains that “becoming an Age Friendly business isn't just the right thing to do - it's also good for business.” She went on to say that “there are over 1 million people aged 55 plus living and shopping in Ireland and older customers often have more time to shop, show greater loyalty towards local businesses and typically outspend younger customers”.
All customer facing businesses across Kilkenny city and county are invited to sign up to the Age Friendly Business Recognition Programme for free. Participating businesses are required to nominate an ‘Age Friendly Champion’ to undergo a short online training course, attend an Age Friendly Workshop, consult with customers, and implement three Age Friendly actions. Research shows that many simple, and often zero or low cost practices, can make shopping and doing business generally much easier for older customers. Examples include making your business easier to find, enter and move around within, using larger fonts on print materials and signage or having designated Age Friendly parking.
Having successfully completed the programme, Age Friendly accredited businesses can display their certification and accreditation window sticker at their business premises and will also be listed on agefriendlyireland.ie
Sign up before Thursday January 31 by contacting Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce on 056 7752767 or by emailing admin@kilkennychamber.ie