Making Fermanagh & Omagh district more ‘Age Friendly’

Age Friendly conference

Published: 16th March 2016

More than 120 older people from the Fermanagh and Omagh district attended a one-day ‘Age Friendly’ conference at the Lough Erne Resort, Enniskillen on Friday 11 March 2016.

The conference was organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, in partnership with South West Age Partnership and Fermanagh and Omagh Interagency Forum for Older People, with funding from the Public Health Agency (PHA). The conference provided those in attendance with the opportunity to hear from a number of speakers on issues relating to an ageing population.  Delegates were also given the opportunity to highlight age related issues of concern to conference speakers through a question and answer panel session.

Professor June Andrews, Director of the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre provided a key note address on dementia and public awareness of the condition as well as simple things which can lessen the stress levels of people suffering from dementia .

Other speakers on the day included Eddie Lynch, Age Sector Platform, who has since been named as the new Older Person’s Commissioner for Northern Ireland; Bernadine McCrory, Alzheimer’s Society; Siobhan Sweeney, PHA; Patricia Donald, South West Age Partnership; Sheila Harvey and Ann McBane, Omagh Active Club; Gillian McEvoy, Belfast City Council; Robert Gibson, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council; and Linda Robinson, Age NI while Seamus Lynch from the Age Sector Platform facilitated the question and answer session.

Welcoming people to the event, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly, explained the importance of agencies working together to promote the Age Friendly agenda in the district.

“Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to working with other stakeholders such as the Public Health Agency which has funded and continue to fund our Age Friendly work, and South West Age Partnership who work closely with the Council to ensure that our district is a more age friendly district,” said Councillor O’Reilly.

“I firmly believe that it is important that as the percentage of our retirement age population increases, more issues pertinent to their specific needs must be addressed and events such as this conference are a means of teasing out those issues and developing an interagency approach to tackle them,” added Councillor O’Reilly.

The Fermanagh and Omagh Interagency Forum For Older People, which is made up of community and voluntary and statutory representatives, continues to meet to address age related issues and will oversee the development  of an Action Plan which aims to make the Fermanagh and Omagh District more age friendly.

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