Local Heroes Celebrate Positive Ageing Week

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Local Heroes Celebrate Positive Ageing Week

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Local Heroes Celebrate Positive Ageing Week

This Positive Ageing Week (September 26-30) is an opportunity for our community to shine a light on the positive aspects of ageing and the vast and varied contributions of older people who quietly improve our lives, neighbourhoods and communities all year round.

There are many events taking place across Galway City and County this year, with the flagship event, the Local Heroes Exhibition situated at the Eyre Square Shopping centre. It features 22 people from across Galway City and County who epitomise positive, healthy and active ageing. They represent the many older people who enrich our lives in so many ways.

“We are thrilled to feature these wonderful older people who represent communities all over Galway,” said Jacquie Lynskey, Head of Senior Support Service at COPE Galway. “Amongst the 22, you’ll meet Daniel McNamara, one of over half a million carers in Ireland without whom the health service would undoubtedly be adversely impacted. Carmel Larkin of the Tuam Women’s Shed shares her creativity and love of “networking”. And Karen O’Neill, a retired radiographer living in Ardrahan shares her knowledge of the local landscape and heritage.”

Positive Ageing Week also offers opportunities for children to take part with free “colour me in” note cards available in local libraries, Galway Atlantaquaria, Charlie Byrnes Bookshop, or directly from COPE Galway. Children can colour one of four bespoke cover design choices and write a message to a grandparent or a special older person close to them. There is an opportunity also to win a year’s family membership to Galway Atlantaquaria by capturing the moment they deliver the card.

Preparing for a positive ageing experience should begin as early as possible in life. Worldwide expert on ageing, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, demystified the ageing journey for participants at an engaging talk jointly hosted by COPE Galway and the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society in the University of Galway on Monday.

Professor Kenny drew from recent research to explain why we age and shared practical advice on steps we can take to stay younger and heathier for longer, looking at areas such as friendship, purpose, laughter, genetics, food, exercise, intimacy and more.

Companies and businesses are getting involved in Positive Ageing Week by joining the year-round Embracing Ageing Programme. The programme promotes a workplace culture that celebrates the contribution of older people. Its focus is on informing and empowering employees to manage their own positive ageing journey.

The Age Friendly Business programme run by Age Friendly Ireland is another opportunity for workplaces to get involved by making their business more accessible to the important older consumer.

Positive Ageing Week offers a wealth of opportunities to celebrate the positivity of older age. Jacquie Lynskey, in thanking all who contribute so much to our families and communities concluded, “Immersing yourself in the enjoyment of hobbies, interests and activities really benefits happy and healthy ageing. From our local Galway Art Club, who have produced 12 paintings for Positive Ageing Week, to the men and women featured in the Local Heroes Exhibition and all between, it’s clear that keeping active contributes to a positive disposition and a longer and healthier life.”

Positive Ageing Week is jointly hosted by COPE Galway, Galway City Council, Galway County Council, and the Galway Age Friendly Programme. Together we would like to thank all who sponsored or contributed to this year’s initiatives and most especially the wonderful people from across Galway City & County who contribute to our families, communities and society and who inspire others to do likewise.

Photo available from Monday’s event – to follow.

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