Five professionals in Limerick City drawn from the medical, pharmaceutical, legal, financial and home care sector have come together to ask the question ‘what does it mean to be the best country in the world to grow old?’ As Limerick strides to become more age friendly this inaugural focus group led discussion is very timely. Next week being Best Will in the World Week has been their catalyst to organise an evening workshop in association with Mary Immaculate College. Liz Early, coordinator of the MA Education & Wellbeing of the Older Person in Mary Immaculate College is ‘delighted to team up with the forum and is looking forward to unlocking key issues’.
Dr Emmet Kerin GP from Treaty Medical Clinic notes that he ‘is increasingly experiencing families struggling especially adult children who are worried for their older parents as they age but simply don’t know what to do’. It appears that families struggle in discussing key issues such as health care needs, medication management, financial planning or the most basic goal, to stay at home, where Liam Toland, Owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Limerick acknowledges ‘that there are many taboos in the ageing process. Hence, many families don’t know their goals and certainly struggle to discuss them where intergenerational conversations are extremely awkward.’
Stephen Keogh of Keating and Keogh Sol adds ‘that only 34% of people living in Ireland have made a will where many complex challenges consequently arise right when families are grieving’.
The idea is to bring their professional experience from each sector to S.M.A.R.T. Living - Successful Ageing. Karl Daly of Metis Life considers ‘planning key’. But he acknowledges that ‘a goal is required to plan for the future, hence the use of the acronym S.M.A.R.T.’ (Specific; Measurable; Attainable; Realistic; Timely). Daire Scanlon of Scanlon’s smiles said that ‘although more accustomed to Limerick business and sporting life SMART is ideal especially as so many don’t plan for their ambition to stay at home’.
To join the focus group in Mary Immaculate College on Thursday 23 Oct (5:30pm -7:30pm) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 061-462070.