Dr Kathleen Brasher is the Principle Lead of north-east Victoria’s Age Friendly Rural Communities initiative in Australia. She has been a part of the international Age Friendly movement since 2006 where she contributed original research to the World Health Organization Global age-friendly cities: a guide.
She is a member of the WHO Strategy Advisory Group for the Global Network for Age- friendly Cities and Communities. She is also an age-friendly advisor to state and local governments and older person’s advocacy organisations across Australia and New Zealand.
Development of an age-friendly audit tool for rural communities in Australia
Undertaking an assessment of the local community is an essential step in creating an age- friendly community. Such assessments seek to identify areas of strength within the
community as well as create a baseline to measure changes in the areas the community agree
need further work. The WHO Age Friendly Cities and Communities Checklist is regularly used by communities to audit features of the community across the multiple dimensions that
impact on the functional ability of older people to live well in later life.
This work sought to build on the Canadian Rural and Remote Age Friendly Checklist developed with communities of less than 5000 people. Through an iterative process we developed an audit tool for rural communities in northeast Victoria. The process comprised a review of academic literature, local government-led community consultations, peer review of
a draft Checklist by academics, service providers and policy practitioners, and focus groups with older people, This presentation discusses the steps used to develop the tool, its evaluation by older people, and presents the final checklist.