A conversation with a master athlete on what keeps him motivated as he enters his 89th year, is one of the activities taking place at Silver Arch Family Resource Centre in Nenagh as part of Positive Ageing Week 2021, which will run from September 27, to October 1.

“We know that our older people have been deeply impacted by Covid-19,” said Noelle Clancy, health and well-being coordinator at the family resource centre.

“In addition to the effects on their physical health, we have been told of older people experiencing social isolation, loneliness, losing independence and struggling with mental health as a result of restrictions during the pandemic,” she said.

“However, we have also seen how our older people have demonstrated adaptability, strength, determination and great resilience in challenging circumstances.

“As part of our strategic plan 2021/2026, we aim to develop services for older people in our community, and it is hoped that the events we are providing for Positive Ageing Week will be the first step of this journey,” Noelle said.

Positive Ageing Week 2021

“So it is very appropriate that the theme for Positive Ageing Week 2021 is ‘Reconnecting Communities by Reframing Ageing’,” Noelle said.

“Positive Ageing Week (PAW) is an Age Action initiative to promote the importance of older people and to celebrate the contribution they make to our families, workplaces, communities and society as a whole.”

On Monday, September 27, the series of week-long events will kick off with ‘In Conversation with Pat Naughton.’ 

Pat, a Nenagh man and master athlete, enjoyed recognition after an image of him training in his living room during lockdown won a prestigious 2021 photo award for photographer Stephen McCarthy.

Pat will talk about his life interests, what keeps him motivated and what the future holds as he enters his 89th year. The talk will be held in Tyone Community Centre from 11:00a.m to 12 noon.

On Tuesday, September 28, the hugely talented Geraldine Wisdom will host a morning workshop in rush work, with all equipment and materials provided.

Gerardine currently has a rush installation on exhibition in Clonmel. In collaboration with Elke Wilson and informed by the Transition Year students of Clonmel, the stunning sculpture is a culmination of six months of exploration into what ‘brave’ might mean in our world today.

Attendees will learn to weave their own piece of rush work under the guidance of Geraldine in this one-off workshop in Tyone Community Centre from 10:00a.m to 1:00pm. 

On Wednesday, September 28, mindful walking will be led by Noelle Clancy from 11:00am to 12 noon. The guided, gentle walk will incorporate mindfulness and breathing exercises suitable for all fitness levels.

“Exercising outdoors has proven benefits not only from helping maintain and improve fitness and health conditions, but also in reducing depression and stress, lifting overall mood and improving cognitive function,” said Noelle.

On Thursday, September 29, from 10:30a.m to 11.30a.m, Niamh Butler will run a one-hour introductory workshop on how our thoughts, emotions and behaviours can impact our mental well-being.

Niamh is the senior social worker in the Health Service Executive (HSE) mental health services for older people based in Nenagh and Thurles. She will use this workshop to highlight ways for older people to mind their mental health. 

Friday, October 1, is international day of older persons and is being celebrated by Silver Arch Family Resource Centre with a free one-hour music event in Nenagh community garden, from 2:00p.m to 3:00p.m

Gerry O’Brien will be there to sing everyone’s favourite songs.

All events are free but numbers are limited and other events will take place around the country.