Positive Ageing Week is all about shining a light on people in older age who are active, engaged, enthusiastic, healthy, and who are making a big difference in the lives of our families, neighbourhoods and communities. Speaking at the launch of COPE Galway’s annual report, Dr Mike Ryan of the WHO spoke passionately about “the wisdom, and the generosity, the value and the central role that older persons play in our society” and he advocated that older persons need to be seen more for the contribution they make.
Positive Ageing Week is an opportunity to do just that, taking place across the country from September 27 to October 1 next, and Galway have has a great line up of events and activities taking place across the City and County.
The flagship event is a ‘ Local Heroes’ exhibition in Eyre Square which showcases 27 wonderful people from across the City and County who are the epitome of healthy and active ageing and many of whom are integral to their communities.
There’s Valerie Pointer from Balinfoyle who was instrumental in establishing the Baile An Chóiste Residents association also played a key role on the committee for the development of the Ballinfoile Castlegar Neighbourhood Centre.
Bridie Willers from Kilchreest who has a keen interest in heritage and has been involved in the Castledaly Kilchreest Heritage group for many years. And Tony Murphy who is involved in Tidy Towns, Heritage projects and the GAA in Milltown.
And as for healthy ageing, the exhibition features so many people such as “Mike the Dub” Kavanagh who at 90 years of age swims every day in Blackrock with his son; Gay Christ out in Roscahill who teaches yoga classes, is an archery enthusiast, plays the harp and kayaks in Lough Corrib at age 81.
Not to mention the Headford Yarnbombers led by Olivia Dooley and Patricia O’Callaghan who together with many others have brought a fabulous sense of fun and laughter to Headford with their knitting projects seen around the town.
The exhibition features so many more with the same passion and love of life and who epitomise the attitude taken by Andrew Linnane who cycles the byways of Ballindereen believing it is “better to wear out than rust out!”
And it also includes some wonderful pieces of art created by the Galway Art Club led by John Connolly who is featured in the exhibition.
COPE Galway’s meal service will be delivering goody bags to all our customers during the week courtesy of a number of local companies such as Keanes Garden Centre, Foods of Athenry, McSharrys pharmacy, Dealz, BWG Foods and Lily O’Brien’s chocolates, so they should be a big treat!
And the Ignite Gospel Choir are doing a concert in the Mervue Church on Friday October 1st.
Galway Sports Partnership will have a number of activities on during the week both on line and in person, from walking to chair yoga, exercise classes to Go For Life Games. Check out their Facebook Page, Galway Sports Partnership for more details www.facebook.com/GalwaySportsPartnership/ There are also a number of community-based events taking place across the County during the week which tie in with the national theme of “reconnecting communities by reframing ageing” and are aimed at re-engaging older people in fun and social activities after the negative effects endured as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Check if there’s an event near you on www.copegalway.ie/positiveageingweek or www.positiveageingweek.com And school children will be writing and colouring in cards for their grandparents to thank them for their contribution to their lives, and in so doing they may also win tickets to Wildlands in Moycullen.
But anyone can take the time during Positive Ageing Week (or any time ) to thank someone they know who is an active and engaged person in older age and who enrich our lives and our communities enormously.
And it is also an opportunity for local businesses to offer a token of gratitude to their older customers by way of a discount during positive ageing week. We can all do something to say thanks!
Further information: Positive Ageing Week 2021 is hosted by the Galway Age Friendly Programme, in conjunction with COPE Galway, Galway City Council and Galway County Council.
Further information is available on www.copegalway.ie/positiveageingweek