A Local Heroes Exhibition is one of many events taking place across Galway this week to mark Positive Ageing Week.
The flagship event, situated at the Eyre Square Shopping Centre in Galway city, features 22 people from across the city and county who epitomise positive, healthy and active ageing.
A number of other events have been organised this week, from training to social mornings.
Positive Ageing Week also gives children a chance to take part with free ‘colour me in’ note cards available in local libraries, Galway Atlantaquaria, Charlie Byrnes Bookshop, and 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 also an opportunity to win a year’s family membership to Galway Atlantaquaria by capturing the moment they deliver the card.
Speaking about the Local Heroes Exhibition, Jacquie Lynskey, Head of Senior Support Service at COPE Galway, said they are thrilled to feature these wonderful older people who represent communities across 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,” said Jacquie.
“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.”
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 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.
“Immersing yourself in the enjoyment of hobbies, interests and activities really benefits happy and healthy ageing,” added Jacquie.
“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.”
This year, 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 is jointly hosted by COPE Galway, Galway City Council, Galway County Council, and the Galway Age Friendly Programme.