Galway man joins new podcast exploring healthy ageing

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Galway Professor Kieran Walsh is a featured guest in the latest episode of The Old Country, a new podcast exploring healthy ageing in Ireland.

Professor Walsh, who is head of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, joins Mayor of South Dublin and podcast host Peter Kavanagh to speak about what is required to build a better Ireland for everyone by thinking about our older people.

The podcast is a 12-part series produced by Active Retirement Ireland exploring issues around ageing such as combating ageism, age-friendly environments, and integrated and long-term care.

In the latest episode, Professor Walsh also discusses the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on older people, and how things can be done differently in the future.

Each episode of the podcast features a guest involved in making Ireland a better place to grow older, from older people themselves to activists and policy experts.

The fortnightly episodes examine the challenges and opportunities which an ageing population brings.

The podcast, which is available to stream on all major platforms, including Spotify and iTunes and through the Active Retirement Ireland website, has been created to mark the beginning of the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing and is supported by the Community Foundation for Ireland.

The next two episodes of The Old Country will feature Mai Quaid, Development Officer with Active Retirement Ireland, and Paddy Connolly, CEO of Age Action.

Commenting on the launch of The Old Country podcast, Mayor Peter Kavanagh said: “We are delighted to have Professor Kieran Walsh joining us on the podcast and provide his expert opinion on how we can build a better Ireland for our older people.

“He also offers great insight into the impact that the Covid 19 pandemic has had on our older people, and on the lessons we can learn to ensure more fair treatment for everyone.”

Peter Kavanagh said that with the ever-increasing popularity of podcasts, now feels like the right time for something to cater for our older population.

“With The Old Country, we are really excited to tell the story of ageing in Ireland,” he said.

“The podcast explores the challenges for our ageing population, highlights some of the great opportunities and discusses how we can make the experience of ageing in Ireland as positive as possible.

“We know how much our retired population in Ireland have to offer through our work with local Active Retirement Ireland groups.

“We also know that they will become a larger proportion of our population: by 2030 the population aged 80 or above will increase by between 89 per cent and 94 per cent, according to the ESRI.

“This is a major shift in the demographics of our country. This podcast is all about sharing insights from those making the most of their older years, and how we can better the experience of our older years through community, wellbeing and a positive attitude towards ageing.”