Over a hundred attendees came along to the Menlo Park Hotel on Monday the 5th of September to find out more about the new Older People’s Council for Galway city. Among the line up of informative and enlightening speakers were none other than the well-known playwright and author Michael Harding. There is no arguing that Harding captured the complete attention of the audience as he shared some stories from his own life and reminded everyone about the significance of sharing their own stories and practising mindfulness in their lives.
There was an informative piece delivered by Anne Rizzo of Age Friendly Ireland (West) who spoke about how Older People’s Councils work and provided positive examples of the work of OPCs around the country. Attendees were very interested to hear that World Health Organisation conferred on Ireland the title of the first Age Friendly country in the world in 2019 and that statistics show that our children and grandchildren can look forward to a life expectancy of at least 100 years old.
Evelyn Fanning, HSE Health Promotion & Improvement, Community Healthcare West shared information on the work of Galway City Alcohol Forum in raising awareness of alcohol related harm. As part of this an information session on Alcohol and Growing Older was delivered by Marion Rackard, Project Manager, HSE National Alcohol Programme which highlighted the high levels of hazardous drinking among adults over 65, low risk alcohol guidelines and supports available. She encouraged older people to be agents of change in helping to demoralise alcohol and support the work of the Alcohol Forum in reducing alcohol harm.
Building on the theme of ‘wellbeing and participation’ at the event, attendees also had a moment to enjoy some relaxing chair yoga with Galway Sports Partnership and wonderful live music with Mike Stewart and Enda Dempsey.
Speaking about the event co-organiser Ciara Coy of Galway City Partnership stated, “we are delighted to have had such a wonderful turnout and to see so many people interested in an Older People’s Council in Galway city. The new OPC will be a key means of hearing the needs of older people in our city and we invite all those who are interested to come along to the Galway City Older People’s Executive AGM on Thursdays 15th September at 11am in the Harbour Hotel.”
Source: Galway City Council