Mayo Older People's Council Hold Successful Information Day
Mayo Older People’s Council held an Information Day on the 31st May in the Park Hotel, Kiltimagh.
Older People’s Councils are representative groups of older people who work together and with key state and voluntary agencies to make Ireland a better place in which to grow old.
The Programme for Government (2011-2016) committed to the establishment of Older People’s Councils by Local Authorities so that older people can raise concerns or issues of importance at a local level. The Age Friendly Programme led to the development of Older People’s Councils in Ireland now in place across all 31 administrative areas of local government.
The highly successful event was opened by the Cathaoirleach Cllr Seamus Weir, who spoke about the positive work being carried out by the Older People’s Council in Mayo.
Kevin Kelly, Chief Executive of Mayo County Council and Chair of the Age Friendly Alliance spoke about Mayo’s Age Friendly Programme, the Age Friendly Strategy, and the importance of the contribution from the Older Persons Council to the document itself.
He also referenced the participation from the Older People’s Council on delivering some of the actions, saying: “Through the consultation process for the strategy, the message from older people in Mayo was very clear – they love living in Mayo, they want to remain living in their own homes for as long as possible, they appreciate the services that are available to them, but they also highlighted areas where improvements need to be made”. The Age Friendly Alliance were also commended for their input to the Age Friendly Programme.
Marie Flanagan, Chair of Mayo Older People’s Council was master of ceremonies for the day. She too spoke of the excellent work carried out by Mayo Older People’s Council and gave some examples of projects. This included Intergenerational projects, engagement with the health services for older people and Eir, the walkability audit in Ireland West Airport Knock, age friendly parking and libraries in Mayo.
Marie spoke about importance for older people to come forward to have their voice heard, and not to be afraid of joining the Older People’s Council. She invited members to join Mayo Older People’s Council to work towards making Mayo a better county in which to grow old.
Reports were presented by Professor Tom O’Malley (Geriatrician/ Stroke Physician), Saolta University Healthcare Group; Age Friendly Programme – Mairéad Cranley and Maura Murphy; Sergeant Paul Maher – Digital Register of Older People in North Mayo for AGS; Living with long-term medical health conditions – Ailish Houlihan, HSE. Guests were also “treated” to some on-the-spot dancing and exercise!!
Sr. Maureen Lally, Age Friendly Ambassador, finished event with an energising talk on the importance of people, volunteers, and community.
The event was attended by over one hundred people. There was also information stands with members of the Alliance advising people of supports and services in Mayo. Free blood pressure checks were available and finally a raffle to close off the event.
Feedback has been very positive particularly around topics and speakers covered. The event will bring new members to the Older People’s Council, and a new executive will be elected at September meeting.