Mayor Graham Warke
A packed programme of local activity aimed at the older community is now underway during Positive Ageing Month, celebrating the important role older citizens play across Derry.
The campaign aims to shine a light on older people and provide them with an opportunity to engage with a wide range of organisations and activities that offer support services and opportunities to socialise and learn new skills.
Derry City & Strabane District Council, the Western Health & Social Care Trust and the Public Health Agency have come together to create a diverse programme of activities and events throughout October and are encouraging various groups and organisations to get involved.
Council is also currently engaging with the older community to shape a dedicated Age Friendly strategy for the City and District, prioritising older people and ensuring their health and wellbeing is a key consideration in the positive development of Derry and Strabane.
Work is underway to create an Age Friendly structure with partners and stakeholders to co-design the three-year Age Friendly Strategy and action plan.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, said Positive Ageing Month celebrated the many positive aspects of growing older.
He said: "Positive Ageing Month offers the chance to celebrate the older members of our community, and the huge influence they have on our society.
“The onus is on all of us to respect and engage with older citizens, and really value their lived experience and knowledge they bring to bear when shaping policies and programmes for our Council area.
"More people within our local community are living longer, healthier lives, so we must ensure that those later years are enriching and rewarding for growing old in our area.
“We must ensure that their needs are identified and prioritised and that we all take a more responsible and positive approach to life as we grow older. I hope to see lots of older people connecting with the programme and the opportunity to enjoy new activities.”
Launching the campaign, Seamus Ward, Head of Health Improvement, Western Health & Social Care Trust said: “I am delighted to be launching this year's Positive Ageing campaign. It is a great opportunity to showcase the fantastic work being carried out on the ground by older people's groups and community and voluntary organisations.
"The programme of events that we have produced shows a variety of activities that exist throughout Derry-Londonderry, Strabane and Limavady areas for older citizens. In an ageing population, it is important we continue to work together to encourage older people to reach out and help them re-connect within their local community, not only to reduce social isolation and loneliness but to help them live long, healthy lives.”
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