The City of Kemi plans an age-friendly neighbourhood

The City of Kemi is planning an age and memory friendly neighbourhood. Among the goals of this process are supporting the well-being, activity and safety of the neighbourhood residents.

We aim to capitalize on the features found in the residential environment as a promoter of well-being, while also providing social and health services in an innovative way. This will be done in accordance to the principles of sustainable development. The development of the neighbourhood complies with the strategy Kemi has developed regarding the well-being of the aging population as well as the strategy regarding environmental friendliness. This work is also one of the measures in the process of restructuring housing and services.

We aim to create an operations model that promotes communality by involving the residents, their family members, the service clients as well as the other stakeholders in the area. Their opinions will be taken into account when developing the functions of the neighbourhood. This model will employ the principles of green care applied to an urban environment.

Currently, the neighbourhood is home to residential care homes, a health centre hospital, services aimed for the benefit of ageing people as well as other services. Many of the buildings in the area are of significant historical value, and they are home to many services. The goal is to make the neighbourhood a pleasant and safe place, which enables, for example, people suffering from memory disorders to stroll safely through a peaceful environment.

Neighbourhood housing block. Photo by Jesse Maidel.

We strive to develop the area so that it is communal and welcoming to people of all ages. The neighbourhood should be a place where people of different ages meet, participate and pursue their interests. The neighbourhood already contains good opportunities for developing a working entity of communal and age friendly functions. The project, titled Ikävihreä Pruntsi, operates between November 1st 2020 and October 31st 2021. During this time, we will carry out regional planning and create a plan of actions that will enable us to develop the age and memory friendly neighbourhood.

Our goal is to increase inclusion and well-being among the residents. The different operators functioning in the area will offer the residents with opportunities for different hobbies and interests as well as home assistance, providing the residents with a meaningful everyday life. We want to develop diverse culture and welfare services that welcome the residents, their families, and other townspeople. For example, the social kitchen, maintained by the green projects of the City of Kemi, is already working from the area. The social kitchen invites people of different ages to gather, cook, and eat together. We are also piloting a service with the social kitchen. The service aims to promote an aging resident’s recovery and to maintain their nutrition levels directly after a hospital cycle. When a patient comes home from the hospital, we offer them an opportunity to get surplus food portions from our social kitchen. A nearby canteen provides us with the portions. This service also reduces food waste. We are also planning a communal urban garden into the area as well as other garden features that invite the townspeople to participate.

 

Age-friendly developers from the City of Kemi:

Rita Oinas, Manager of Elderly Care and Nursing.
Tanja-Marjanen Korkala, Project planner, Ikävihreä Pruntsi.
Heidi Nikkilä, Project manager, Year-round urban farming and local food production in Kemi.