Suffolk Ageing Well

l&WThe isolation of older people in our community is a “national shame” says Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. He is not wrong.

At the Suffolk Ageing Well conference hosted by Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board, 150 delegates considered how communities need to change in order to support people to sustain their independence well into their older years. ┬áThe conference heard from speakers on the trinity of factors that together contribute to resilience for people in their older years ‘People’, ‘Place’ and ‘Services’.

Cultural Intelligence played a major role in the conference attended by ‘big cheeses’ from health, local authorities, well being services, the police, housing and social care services. We designed an experiential learning exercise called Local & Wise in which the senior managers, policy makers and political leaders dropped their formal roles to work in groups focusing on their own local neighbourhood. The exercise took an asset-based approach to create a Neighbourhood Book of Wisdom to identify new possibilities for building resilient communities.

Unsurprisingly, ‘Social Isolation’ was one of the major themes identified by the delegates. Interestingly, ‘hairdressers’ featured strongly as one of the potential assets to build on.

At the end of the exercise the neighbourhood groups discussed the ‘Golden Rules’ for developing ageing friendly communities. These included

  • Listen
  • Build on what is working
  • Promote community spirit
  • Be self-reliant
  • Build respect
  • Join-up
  • Plan & design
  • Stay passionate
  • Involve all ages

L&W logoCultural Intelligence has produced a short report ‘The Suffolk Book of Neighborhood Wisdom’ is available here.

Here is the spoof newsflash we produced as part of our workshop. Thanks to broadcaster Stuart Jarrold who also gave a keynote speech at the conference.