Uppsala wants to become more senior-friendly
The municipality has announced certain measures towards achieving this vision
- fredag d. 18. september 2020, 16.00
- Tzvetozar Vincent Iolov
Uppsala, the fourth biggest city in Sweden, wants to be known as a place that makes seniors’ lives easier and takes their concerns to heart. To that end, its municipal website has announced a set of measures which have been implemented towards the completion of this goal. The focus on senior citizens has been placed in wake of the recent developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, which have marked them as one of the most vulnerable groups, not only to the health consequences of the epidemic, but also its socio-economic ones.
Multi-dimensional support for the elderly
One of the special measures, which was announced during this week, is the introduction of cheaper bus passes for citizens over the age of 70. The reduction is quite substantial as the monthly pass until now used to cost SEK 460 and in the future will be sold for SEK 150.
“Uppsala wants to improve everyday life for older people in our municipality. We make this unique investment in cheaper public transport to increase the elderly's opportunity to participate in various activities and social contexts regardless of the thickness of their wallets,” said Erik Pelling, Mayor of the municipality.
In general, this Swedish city wants to see its senior citizens leading better quality lives. The card, which will be available from 1 January 2021 is seen as a tool that will grant this group of people better mobility and consequently reduce the involuntary isolation and loneliness many have been subjected to.
The card, however, will not be valid during rush hours in the weekdays between 6:00 and 9:00 and between 15:00 and 19:00.
The bus pass program joins other measures, such as the installation of more benches in the city parks over the next seven years. This initiative is expected to encourage elderly people to spend more time outdoors and be more mobile.
Additionally, several phone helplines have been added to the municipal services where citizens can call and talk to mental health experts or to the so-called Elderly Ombudsman. This is important as restrictive measures and isolation has placed their toll on the seniors’ psyches. Some of these phone lines provide the opportunity to talk to other residents in a similar situation and share experiences.
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