Ireland’s largest celebration of positive ageing commences tomorrow (October 1) when hundreds of events - from tea parties and social outings, to concerts and cultural events - take place to mark Age Action’s Positive Ageing Week.
The week, which runs from October 1st to 9th, is sponsored by Bluebird Care. This year’s programme is one of the most diverse in the 12 years that Positive Ageing Week has been running.
“The purpose of the week is to show that ageing is not something to fear, but something to celebrate,” Age Action chief executive Robin Webster explained. “It is an opportunity for older people to enjoy themselves and for communities to recognise the contribution which older people have made, and continue to make, in their localities – especially at this time of austerity. Older people are playing key roles in our communities as volunteers, parents and grandparents, and experienced workers to help their communities through these difficult times.”
Events are being hosted in 28 counties (all of the Republic of Ireland as well as Antrim and Derry), with almost 400 events listed on the national calendar.
The week will be supported by 13 Positive Ageing Week towns which will run week-long series of events. The towns are: Arklow; Ballymun; Boyle; Cashel; Drogheda; Dublin; Dungarvan; Galway; Kinsale; Midleton; Sligo; Trim; and Tullamore.
This is the third successive year that Bluebird Care has sponsored the week. “Much of our work involves helping older people live with dignity in their own homes, and so we are delighted to be part of this national celebration of positive ageing,” Bluebird Care Director of Operations Eddie O’Toole said.
In addition to the towns, hundreds of communities across the country are marking the week in their own way. The line up of events ranges from story telling sessions and gala balls, to yoga classes, mystery tours, historical walks and cookery demonstrations.
This year’s schedule also includes the hosting of dozens of celebrity tea parties, as part of the Guess Who’s Coming To Tea fundraising initiative with Age Action and the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. Celebrity supporters Jimmy Magee, Martin King, Donal Og Cusack, Ronnie Delaney and Gerald Kean will be dropping in to tea parties during the week.
The corporate sector is also playing its part. For example, on October 8th Bank of Ireland branches across the country will host introductory sessions on online banking for older people.
Mr Webster appealed to the public and communities to support their local events. “The preparations are complete and all that is now needed is for communities to rally around and support the events which have been organised,” he said.
For full details of events around Ireland visit http://www.ageaction.ie/national-calendar-events or phone 01-4756989, 9.30 to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You can also keep track of the fun around the country by following Age Action on Facebook and Twitter.