Author: Age NI
Published on 01 October 2015 10:00 AM
Today is International Older People’s Day, a day to celebrate the older people in our lives and think about the positive, constructive ways that we can make Northern Ireland a better place to age.
My thoughts have been sharply focussed in recent months, working with the Age NI team, our volunteers and trustees on the development of our new five year strategy. In our new strategy we are focussed on three important areas that need our attention to ensure that more people can love later life – having enough money, being supported to stay well and feel good, and being empowered to be equal and engaged citizens. We have been looking at the rapidly changing environment in which we live – our ageing population; the trials and tribulations of our economy; the ever-changing political situation here in Northern Ireland and globally. We live in a technological age, a social media age, an age when the world feels smaller, everything happens faster, a time when it actually feels as though there isn’t enough time for anything or anyone anymore…
Any that’s why today, I think we should all stop. Yes, just stop. Put down your phone, step away from your tablet, forget about things that are troubling or confusing you. For just a few minutes, let’s make some time, quality time for the older people in our lives.
Think about your Mum or Dad, Granny or Granda and the contribution they make to your life – the birthday money, the baby-sitting, the hug when you need one, the half-hour phonecall when you’re feeling low. Think about your older neighbour who’s kind enough to hang onto all your online shopping when you’re not home to receive it from the postman! Think about that older lady you meet on the walk into work every single morning whose big smile for a stranger cheers you up on the darkest days.
Now think about how you can value and celebrate these significant people in your life today and acknowledge the positive impact they have on you. We would love to hear from you about celebrating International Older People’s Day on facebook and twitter using #LoveLaterLife.
Together we can put a much deserved spotlight on the older people in our lives today.