AT age 50 you are now deemed to be “elderly” ... at least if you live in Limerick.
While the Collins English dictionary defines elderly as “growing old”, Limerick City Council have decided you have arrived in the elderly category once you hit 50.
The 50-year benchmark has been set down by the council’s housing department as the qualifying age for a new city centre housing development exclusively for the “elderly”.
The council is planning to build 35 units in a three-storey development at Vizes Court, near St Joseph’s Church, off O’Connell Avenue.
Up to €10 million is being provided by the Department of the Environment. The scheme will replace old, single-storey houses which have been demolished and which had been an elderly council estate.
Kieran Lehane, director of housing at Limerick City Council, said they pitched the elderly threshold at 50 because they find that people at that age onwards get on better living near each other in a housing for elderly people.
Mr Lehane said: “You don’t have any problems with late night parties and discos and people of 50 and over are earmarked for the new Vizes Court development. You could not put a mix of people in the 20 or 30 age group in a housing development for the elderly. It does not work.”
Well-known Limerick photographer Owen South, who celebrates the big Five-O tomorrow said: “I am horrified at the thought of being described as elderly from tomorrow. I am not elderly, it’s crazy. Sure I have another 15 years to go before I get the free bus pass.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved