An increased life expectancy, lower birth rates and increased emigration rates have dramatically changed the percentage of our community over the age of 50.
Next month many of these older adults will be given the opportunity to have their say on improving their quality of life throughout the region.
Representatives from Cork County Council and Age Friendly Ireland will be in Midleton Park Hotel at 11:00am on February 9th as part of a series of consultation events throughout the county aimed at engaging with as many people over the age of 50.
Aileen Hurley programme co-ordinator told the East Cork Journal “Previous events covered a wide range of opinions and suggestions, as to how to improve the lives of our ageing community. Many focused on the lack of service information and were very realistic in costs when suggesting improvements.”
“We had representatives from Active Retirement Groups, Community Councils and individuals, who all had a great grasp on what their communities needed. We had a wide spread of people representing both rural and urban centres” she added.
Ned Reck secretary of the Midleton Active Retired group recently told the East Cork Journal, the ageing of the population is good news to the extent that life expectancy rises and quality of life improves. The concern is will we have the funds to make the necessary improvements for an age friendly society.
Mr Reck added “I am concerned with the Irish Small and Medium Enterprise (ISME) Seemless transport initiative. The programme was to integrate public transport for all the community including the elderly. Most of the plan was watered down by traders in Midleton concerned with less parking spaces on the main street. There is also a lack of pedestrian crossings, making it a nightmare driving through the centre with jaywalking.”
According to the 2011 Census 108,949 people are over the age of 50, that’s 27.25% of the county’s population as opposed to 23.97% nationally.
It is estimated the county’s population of retirees will grow by 28.96% by 2033. That means Cork County will be home to 115,795 senior citizens, by conservative figures.