The most recent census in 2021, told us that people are now living longer than ever before. The number of older people in our society is growing, with approximately 319,949 people aged 65 years and older currently living in Northern Ireland. In the Western Trust area there are approximately 49,709 people aged 65 years and older (NISRA, July 2021). The Health Improvement Equality and Involvement Department offers support, guidance and resources to help older people stay healthy and independent for as long as possible.
We are heavily involved in promoting Positive Ageing and support a number of initiatives to encourage Active Ageing. Positive Ageing month happens in October each year; we work closely with the local councils, the Public Health Agency and partners to develop a brochure of events and activities for over 50s, some of which are available all year round.
Positive Ageing Month is an opportunity to encourage people to get out and engage in their communities, and to highlight the valuable contributions that older people make to our society. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on Positive Ageing Month 2023 later in the year, including the brochure and calendar of events during the month.
Positive Ageing Small Grants Programme
The Western Trust administers a small grants programme, funded by the Public Health Agency, where older peoples groups (age 50+) across the Trust area can apply for grants of up to £500 to improve physical activity and reduce social isolation and loneliness within their communities. Last year’s grant programme was a huge success, with 67 community and voluntary groups being awarded funding a total of £29,758 for their activities. See below the evaluation of last year’s programme.
My Happy Place (Calendar 2023)
The “Your Happy Place” calendar has been developed as an age friendly initiative. The calendar is funded by PHA and developed in partnership with the local councils and the South West Age Partnership.
During Positive Ageing Month across the local council areas, a competition for entries was held and residents aged 65+ years were asked to submit a photograph or an art piece of their Happy Place. Members of the Age Friendly steering group judged the competition and the winner and runners up from the competition are featured in the calendar.
Contact the Health Improvement team for a copy of the calendar or you can download the 2023 calendar here.
Older people are more likely to attend Emergency Departments with injuries as a direct result of falls in the home. The following video provides important tips to help prevent falls in the home.
We provide a number of resources to health professionals and service users and their carers to prevent falls including:
The Up and About Plan is also available and provides information on what to do if you have a fall.
For further information or to request a hard copy of any of the booklets contact Una.McNaughton@westerntrust.hscni.net
There are also some other great resources which have been developed, to help prevent falls. These include:
Public Health Agency Stay Steady Video
Stepping On Programme
For those who have had a fall, the Stepping On Programme offers older people a way of reducing falls and at the same time increasing self confidence in situations where they are at risk of falling. Falls are a serious problem, but can be prevented at any age. For more information contact Davina on 028 677 23843 or Davina.Coulter@oakhlc.com
Services for Older People
The Western Trust has a number of useful services for older people, these can be found here: Older People’s Services | Western Health & Social Care Trust
Services which you may find particularly beneficial in relation to falls are:
As we age it is important to ensure we are continuing to keep active and eating a nutritious diet. This is very important for overall health and wellbeing. There is a wealth of information about how we can continue to lead healthy lives as we age, see booklets below on how to look after yourself at home:
Additionally, please see the following pages for more information on how we can continue to keep physically active and eat well later in life:
Advice and Support
- Omagh – Ann Orr 077 1050 1914
- Erne – Jennifer Scott 028 6632 4062
COAST – Causeway Older Active Strategic Team
- Tori Calderwood 028 7776 7860
Ally Foyle – Active Living in Later Years
- Angelina Cooper 074 1998 7095
South West Age Partnership (SWAP)
- Allison Forbes 028 8225 1824
Beyond the Call Project
- B-Friend Hub Omagh: 028 8224 0772 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- B-Friend Hub Fermanagh: 028 6698 0027 or email@example.com
- B-Friend Hub Strabane: 028 7188 3102 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Council Age Friendly Officers:
- Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council : Liam Hinphey (Limavady Office): 028 7776 0306 (ext 3130) E-mail: email@example.com
- Derry City and Strabane District Council : Ciara Burke 028 7125 3253 Ciara.Burke@Derrystrabane.com
- Fermanagh and Omagh District Council : Sharon Howe firstname.lastname@example.org
- Connect Fermanagh: 028 6632 0230
- Good Morning Strabane: Contact Carol Devlin on 028 7188 3102 or email@example.com
- Good Morning North West: Contact Nicole on 028 7135 2694 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bridge Accessible Transport (Derry): 028 7126 7555
- Fermanagh Community Transport: 028 6632 4260
- Easilink Community Transport (Omagh): 028 8224 8140
- Easilink Community Transport (Strabane/Derry): 028 7188 3282
For more information on healthy living in later years, please contact the Health Improvement Equality and Involvement Department on;
Phone: 028 7186 5127