Week Four of Healthy Town to encourage positive ageing

With one quarter of over 65s living alone, week four of The Irish Times and Pfizer Healthy Town programme will focus on encouraging adults to engage in community life, avoid social isolation, and age positively.

Ciarán McKinney, head of arts and culture, age, and opportunity will give a free public talk on ‘Life is for Living’ on Wednesday, September 30, in the Sheraton Athlone Hotel at 7pm.

Speaking about his involvement, McKinney said: “The Irish Times and Pfizer Healthy Town programme creates an opportunity for the people of Athlone to improve their health and wellbeing for free and, especially on week four, I’d encourage people to come to the public talk and get involved whether they are currently looking for ways to age positively or are interested in helping a family member or friend.”

The talk will provide tips for over 65s on looking after their health, including some of the following:

Stay physically active: staying active can help people to continue to do the things they enjoy and stay independent as they age and can also reduce the risk of developing some diseases and disabilities that develop as people grow older. Try to incorporate endurance activities, strengthening exercises, stretching, and balancing exercises into your exercise programme.

Eat healthy food: As you get older it is more important than ever to eat right to stay healthy and maintain energy levels. The key to healthy eating is to eat a variety of food from the food pyramid. You can also keep a food diary to record your intake.

Look after your mental health: Stress can have an enormous impact on your health and your quality of life at any age, but even more so as you get older. Older people are also more likely to experience emotional trauma associated with loss. To manage mental health and deal with challenges it is important to acknowledge feelings and talk to a family member, friend, or healthcare professional.

Be aware of balance disorders: Many older people experience problems with balance and dizziness (vertigo ). There are many different causes for balance disorders so contact your health care provider if you feel unsteady or dizzy. Falls and fall-related injuries are serious concerns that can have a significant impact on your life and your ability to live independently.

A dedicated site for Healthy Town can be viewed at www.irishtimes.com/healthytown The site will be regularly updated with details of local events and activities taking place in Athlone Town. To register for any of the free public talks email [email protected] or phone (01 ) 6690165.

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