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Get Involved in Cork and Cultivate your Wellbeing in Older Age

Get involved and stay social, that’s the overriding message from a new Age UK charity study into the wellbeing and health of older people. The clear message, the report says “is the importance of maintaining meaningful engagement with the world around you in later life – whether this is through social, creative or physical activity, work or belonging to some form of community group”.

The overarching message from the study is that, as human beings, we are social by nature. Maintaining vibrant and healthy social lives is so important at all ages. We wanted to highlight local groups and opportunities in Cork, around the important factors for health and wellbeing highlighted by the report.

Creative and Cultural Activities

As the report says, older people with the highest levels of wellbeing “are all involved in some form of creative and cultural activity”. The study found that participating in creative and cultural activities makes the greatest contribution to your overall health and wellbeing, out of a long list of contributing factors.

You can check the city council website for news on the latest upcoming cultural events and activities in Cork.

Illness and Disability

A key finding from the report identifies that if your illness or disability allows you to participate is social activities, the activities can counteract the negative effects of ill health on your overall wellbeing.

There are currently 57 Active Retired Groups based in and around Cork, if you’re looking to get involved socially in your area.

The Wellbeing of Carer’s

Caring for a loved one, often your partner, is a role that many older people have to take on. According to the report, when the caring is fairly low intensity it actually has a positive effect on the carers wellbeing. However, where the care given needs to be high intensity, the caring has been shown to have a negative effect on the carers wellbeing. Perhaps this is due to the carer being less able to work or get involved in other activities.

There are several support groups for carers in Cork, including Family Carers Ireland group in Cork and West Cork Carers Support Group.

Remain Active and Healthy

At any stage of live, keeping active is so important to remaining healthy and enjoying increased wellbeing.

With the aim of getting older people more active, more often, the Go for Life Programme helps older people to plan and lead activities and sports. Go for Life also fund groups who are getting older people more active. They have lots of ideas for activities that can be done – either alone or with friends. The Go For Life Programme is very active in Cork, in partnership with the Cork Sports Partnership, to support and coordinate active events in the area including the FitWalk Programme.

In March, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, announced TILDA, a study by Trinity College, which proves that older people make an enormous contribution to Irish society. The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) states that its overarching aim is to make Ireland the best country in the world to live for the over 50’s.

On the back of the increasing spotlight being shone on the wellbeing of older people by Government and in the media, we want to highlight some of the community groups in Cork for the over 50’s:

Groups and programmes for older people in Cork

Active Retirement Ireland groups in Cork

Active Retirement Ireland reaches out to all older people to stop loneliness through friendship and support.

Age Friendly Cork

AgeFriendly.ie, aims to be the one stop website for all your information needs. The website aims to deliver all the vital information that is the relevant to older people and their families in Cork and throughout Ireland.

Go For Fitline is a phone based service that encourages those over 50 to get more active. Freephone Go For Fitline on 1800 303 545 and their mentors will ring you every few weeks until you’re happy with your progress

Go For Life Programme

Go for Life is the national programme for sport and physical activity for older people in Ireland.

Care and Repair Programme Cork by Age Action

The Care and Repair programme carries out minor repairs for older and vulnerable people free of charge at locations all over Ireland and provides contact details of local tradesmen for larger jobs. Befriending services are also provided through visits and telephone calls.

Care & Repair Programme – Cork

Contact: John O’Mahony on 021-2067399 or email aac@ageaction.ie