Digital workshops introduced as part of Positive Ageing Week

Positive Ageing Week is focussing this year on intergenerational activity, so get those whizzkids of yours to help you out, writes Margaret Jennings.  

Would you like to know the secret of successful ageing organised by an academic expert in the field?

Or perhaps try your hand — or limbs — at tai chi, so that you can learn to enhance your balance, strength and vitality? Or you may be yearning to pick up a sword and try out fencing – especially if you have been a Game of Thrones fan!

These are just some of the free activities you can sign up for during the Bank of
Ireland Positive Ageing Week, organised by Age Action from September 25 to October 1, the UN International Day of Older Persons.

Now in its 15th year, there are no rules about the type of activity that can be organised, according to Age Action, the national independent organisation on ageing, “as long as it involves older people and is enjoyable”.

But this year a major focus is on intergenerational activity — getting young and the not-so-young together, whether they be in groupings of family or friends.

“The theme for 2017 is Back to the Future, which focuses on getting all generations celebrating ageing in their local community,” says Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action.

“Our mission is to make Ireland the best country in which to grow old and Bank of Ireland Positive Ageing Week is a hugely important part of that. By bringing generations together in the community we are helping to put the focus on celebrating what older people have to offer and also what each generation can learn from each other.

“Last year, over 550 events took place and this year our goal is to have 600 nationwide and we have been receiving an overwhelming response.”

As part of the intergenerational theme, Bank of Ireland’s team of Digi Arrows are also holding special ‘digital hours’ in primary schools across the country. Students are being asked to invite an older relative, or neighbour to learn more about how to use the internet or digital devices.

The Digi Arrows are a dedicated technical team present in branches countrywide, that are available all year around to help you get up to speed with going online or using a smartphone or other digital device.

With Irish families now spread out worldwide and children and grandchildren living abroad, getting up to scratch technologically is ever more important in order to keep in regular touch.

Interestingly, according to the latest Census figures, while 87% of households had access to the internet at home in 2016, 41% of individuals in the 60-74 age group have never used it.

Of the 13% of households with no internet access, 40% reported that this was due to a lack of skills. So if you or someone you know is in this category, Bank of Ireland Positive Ageing Week is a perfect opportunity to take the plunge and discover what the World Wide Web has to offer.

In schools that take up the Digi Arrows invitation, all participants be they young and old, will be brought through the dos and don’ts of social networking. Students and their older partner will learn how to protect themselves online, use social media, and post a joint selfie at the end of the session!

If you miss the day at school, you can always catch up with the Digi Arrows another time.

In the meantime, here are some of the types of events which have featured in the past and may be in your area, for Positive Ageing Week:

  • Entertainment: Coffee Mornings, Social Evenings, Quiz Nights, Musical Afternoons, Traditional Music Sessions, Tea Dances, Variety Concerts, Choral Recitals, Ceilis.
  • Cultural: Historic Walks, Poetry Readings, Reminiscence Sessions, Art & Crafts Exhibitions, Historical Talks, Photographic Exhibitions.
  • Sport/Keep Fit: Fitness Sessions for older people, Family Fun Walk, Indoor Bowls, Seniors Golf Tournament, Seniors Bowling Tournament, Bowling Training, Salsa Dancing, Ballroom Dancing, Tai Chi, Yoga and Aqua Aerobics.
  • Talks & Information Sessions: Security Talks, Information Days provided by local groups working with older people, Talk on Activity Programmes in Nursing Homes, Social Services Open Day, Talks on Rural Transport.
  • Excursions & Tours: Local visits to places of interest like County Homes and Gardens, Tours of Museums and Galleries, Mystery Tours.
  • Workshops: Photography Workshops, Stress Management Workshops, Creative Writing Workshop, Basket Weaving Workshop, An Introduction to Bridge Workshops.
  • Health: Nutrition Information Session, Holistic Therapy Day- specifically aimed at older people, Healthy Eating Sessions.
  • Spirituality: Inter-denominational Service, Mass & Sermons on Positive Ageing in local churches.
  • Social: Book Reviewing, Bumper Bingo, Active Retirement Groups Open Days for non-members.
  • Gardening: Bulb Planting, Park Clean-up.

If you want to find out more or sign up for events in your area see: ageaction.ie/events


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