Ireland’s population is getting older, and that presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities.
Join Peter Kavanagh in The Old Country, a new podcast from Active Retirement Ireland to mark the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing, to find out about growing older in Ireland, and how we can build a better Ireland for all ages.
1. Active Retirement Ireland National President Anne Drury – Taking the leap and a good night’s sleep
Peter Kavanagh chats to Anne Drury, President of Active Retirement Ireland, about life, laughter and how a good night’s sleep can make all the difference.
Anne Drury planned to retire early, but found herself at a loose end. Joining her local Active Retirement group, initially to teach yoga, has led to a passion a decade in the making. In this episode she explores what it means to age well, and how many people can miss the opportunity to make the most out of retirement.
2. Head of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway Professor Kieran Walsh — Policy and practice
Professor Kieran Walsh is the head of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology in NUI Galway. As one of Ireland’s leading experts on ageing, he joins Peter Kavanagh to talk about the policy lessons that can be learned — how we build a better Ireland for everyone by thinking about our older people. He also discusses the negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on older people, and how things can be done differently in the future.
3. Active Retirement Ireland member Mai Quaid – Reaching out the hand of friendship
Peter Kavanagh is joined by Mai Quaid, a development officer for Active Retirement Ireland, to discuss how loneliness affects older people, and the challenges of reaching out to the most isolated. Mai has been heavily involved in Active Retirement Ireland since she joined, and she tells us about her experience as a development officer and as president.
4. Age Action CEO Paddy Connolly – Equality and ageing
Paddy Connolly, CEO of Age Action, joins Peter Kavanagh to talk about how we view ageing in Ireland, and how this can be improved by looking at things through the lens of equality. Paddy has been working in the NGO sector for years before his appointment as chief executive at Age Action, and he brings a wealth of experience in fighting for equality to ageing sector. Age Action are a massive voice in ageing policy in Ireland, and Peter and Paddy discuss the work of the organisation and how a better future for older people is a brighter future for all.
5. Active Retirement Ireland CEO Maureen Kavanagh – Getting active again
Maureen Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Active Retirement Ireland, joins Peter in the studio to discuss how a membership-based organisation like ARI can respond to the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic. They talk about grief, loss and hope, as Maureen sets out a vision for the future of Active Retirement, and how the pandemic has taught us all lessons about how older people can deal with a crisis and bounce back stronger than ever.
6. Professor Rose Anne Kenny – What we know and what we should know
Professor Rose Anne Kenny is one of Ireland’s foremost gerontologists, and one of the senior researchers behind TILDA — the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. She joins Peter Kavanagh to discuss why we needed to gather the huge amounts of data TILDA provided, how we can learn from it, and what older people can do to manage their own health. Professor Kenny’s new book Age Proof – The New Science of Ageing was released in early 2022, published by Bonnier Books.
7. Head of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway Professor Kieran Walsh — Shining a light on older people in marginalised communities
Professor Kieran Walsh is back in studio with Peter as he discusses how ageing can affect marginalised communities and what his research is doing to shine a light on these hidden older people.
8. Active Retirement Ireland CEO Maureen Kavanagh and Digital Ambassador Geraldine Murphy – Digital inclusion
Peter is joined by Maureen Kavanagh and Geraldine Murphy, who discuss digital inclusion and exclusion — why older people might not be online, and what can be done to help them take the leap into a new world.
9. Age & Opportunity Programme Manager Ciarán McKinney
Peter is joined in studio by Ciarán McKinney of Age and Opportunity. They discuss the cultural and artistic contributions older people make to society, and spend some time on Ciarán's own story as an advocate for marginalised communities.
10. Patricia Conboy – Why do we need a UN Decade of Healthy Ageing?
Why do we need a UN Decade of Healthy Ageing? No-one is more qualified to answer that question than Patricia Conboy, lecturer in NUIG and former Head of Global Advocacy and Campaigns with HelpAge International, who was the National Director of Older and Bolder here in Ireland. Patricia has spent decades advocating for older people and her experience and expertise have had a massive impact on the lives of countless people around the world.
11. Age Friendly Ireland National Programme Manager Dr. Emer Coveney – Age-friendly planning
Age Friendly planning is a key part of dealing with an ageing population, but what does it mean? Peter is joined by Dr. Emer Coveney of Age Friendly Ireland to talk about how local authorities play a role in the Decade of Healthy Ageing and what age-friendly environments mean to all generations.
12. Active Retirement Ireland National President Anne Drury and CEO Maureen Kavanagh
In the final episode of the series, Peter is joined by Maureen Kavanagh and Anne Drury of Active Retirement Ireland to look back on the topics discussed and talk about their hopes for the future.