NUI Galway to Host Seminar on Rural Ageing and the Recession

Thursday, 9 December 2010

"An Age Old Problem - Where Now for Rural Services"
The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway is hosting a seminar on rural ageing and the recession, in conjunction with the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI), Irish Rural Link and the Rural Community Network Northern Ireland. The seminar, which is part of CARDI's Older People and the Recession Series, is taking place today, Thursday, 9 December and tomorrow, Friday, 10 December in the Martin Ryan Institute (Annex) at NUI Galway. This event will focus on ageing in rural Ireland, North and South, and will examine crucial issues of concern for researchers, policymakers and older people themselves about the impact of the recession. The keynote address will be given by Professor Norah Keating, Co-Director of Research on Aging, Policies and Practice, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta, Canada. It will also feature contributions from national experts in the fields of ageing research, policy and practice and will showcase findings from two CARDI funded research projects relating to ageing in a rural context. Professor Thomas Scharf, Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG), says the event is particularly timely: "At a time when everyone is facing up to the new realities of economic uncertainty, it is useful to reflect on what works and what doesn't work in meeting the needs and aspirations of older citizens living in rural communities across Ireland. This seminar brings together some of the country's best people to help shape the future of rural services for a growing proportion of our population." Dr Roger O'Sullivan, Director of CARDI says, "Older people make up a significant part of the rural population of Ireland, North and South. This seminar not only addresses the particular issues facing older people in terms of accessing transport and other services but also takes a closer look at the positive contribution older people make to rural communities. The CARDI funded research projects which will be launched at the event underline the importance of listening to older people's voices when making decisions on rural policy and services in Ireland, North and South. Recognising the value of rural communities and older people who live in them will be especially important in the context of the difficult decisions about public spending that lie ahead." Dr Kieran Walsh, NUI Galway, will present findings from a CARDI funded project entitled 'Older people in Rural Communities: Exploring Attachment, Contribution and Diversity in Rural Ireland and Northern Ireland' focusing on case studies of the experiences of older people. The report, which was written in collaboration with colleagues at NUI Galway, Queens University, the Rural Community Network and FORUM Letterfrack, is a part of a larger programme of work on rural ageing being pursued by the Healthy Ageing in Rural Communities (HARC) research network. Dr Aoife Ahern, University College Dublin, will also present a project exploring the issue of rural transport for older people.
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