Over 160 older people from all over the island of Ireland visited Donegal last week for the two-day National Older Persons Convention.
The gathering learned more about the innovative work being done by Donegal’s Older Persons Council in making Donegal a better place to grow old in.
The Convention, which took place in Donegal Town, was an opportunity for Older Peoples Council’s to meet, share ideas and experiences and identify key issues facing older people.
Delegates had an opportunity to see first-hand the work being done by Donegal’s Older Persons Council and Donegal County Council over the last number of years under the auspices of the Donegal Age Friendly Strategy highlighting initiatives such as Ceol le Chéile intergenerational choir, age-friendly public spaces, improving public transport and an audit of Letterkenny University Hospital which in turn has resulted in it becoming more age-friendly.
Seamus Neely Chief Executive of Donegal County Council and Chair of the Donegal Age Friendly Alliance spoke of Donegal’s journey over the last few years in implementing their first Age Friendly Strategy and acknowledged the drive and commitment of the Older Persons Council in implementing this strategy.
He said “the first Donegal Age Friendly Strategy was about implementing real change in an imaginative and cost-effective way and I think this has been achieved.
“This programme is going from strength to strength in Donegal and it is firmly embedded in the culture of Donegal County Council.
“The next phase of this journey is about building on this success and implementing the 73 actions across the eight World Health Organisation themes contained in the new Donegal Age Friendly Strategy.”
Catherine McGuigan Chief Officer with Age Friendly Ireland commended Donegal County Council and Donegal Age Friendly Alliance on their success in completing their first age-friendly strategy and committed to continuing to provide the required support and technical guidance.
Delegates also heard from Mary Cronin, Chair of National Older Persons Council and Chair of Limerick OPC and Alan Byrne Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. A number of themes including rural and community development, transport, safeguarding older people and multi-generational homes and planning were explored with keynote speakers.