Improving the quality of life in East Renfrewshire

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How do you see yourself in 20 years’ time? That’s the question the Tomorrow’s Older People team have been asking people out and about across East Renfrewshire.

And most of residents are optimistic!

Travel plays a part in many people’s plans and, while some are looking forward to putting their feet up after retirement, most said they still want to be ‘doing something’ with their time.

However, many people had a strong reaction when it came to thinking of themselves as an ‘older person’.

Craig Owens of Tomorrow’s Older People explained: “It seems that collectively there is a negative perception of older age.

“Despite a general level of optimism about the future, people seemed offended by the thought that one day they could be described as an old person.

“None of us are getting any younger so what can we do together now to challenge any stigma associated with ageing and ensure we wear our increasing years with pride?”

Tomorrow’s Older People is a Big Lottery Funded programme led by Kinworks in East Renfrewshire.

It aims to involve local people in proactively designing the services and support that will affect their quality of life in older age.

Older people can be particularly affected by loneliness and the project aims to involve people in making sure that everyone has the connections and friendships they need to stay healthy and happy as we get older.

Craig continued: “Loneliness can be more prevalent in older age and this has a significant impact on physical and emotional health.

“One study has shown that lonely people have a 64 per cent increased chance of developing clinical dementia and the health impacts on loneliness are shown to be comparable to those of obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

“People tell us that as they get older, they find it harder to make new friends and their existing circles shrink as people become frail or pass away.”

“Tomorrow’s Older People is tackling these difficult topics head on, encouraging people to talk openly about getting older.

“Most of all, we want people to start thinking about, and planning for, their future happiness now.”

Craig added: “We have an opportunity to come together to make sure that East Ren is a great place to grow up in, whether you’re eighteen or eighty.”

The Tomorrow’s Older People is inviting everyone to get involved through a series of events, Meetups’, online activity and workshops.

You can meet and chat to the team at the upcoming Safety Day at Auchenback Resource Centre, Barrhead on August 9.

For further information, visit tomorrowsolderpeople-eastren

or visit the Facebook page Facebook

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