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Active Living for the Older Person

Info: 2102 words (8 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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Tagged: exerciseageing

Annmarie Leonard


I am required to compile a report on active living in retirement for the older person. I have to include answers to the following four questions:

  • The role of the carer/organisations in promoting positive attitudes to ageing and retirement.
  • Ethnic and cultural influences on the older person in relation to retirement.
  • How health promotion and therapeutic interventions can enhance quality of life for person after retirement.
  • Discuss how family members can be included as partners in care for the older person.

The methodology I will be using throughout is the internet, books, library, work experience, personal experience and my own local facilities. I will be referencing throughout and I will have a bibliography at the end.

Who is an older person? Who has the right to put an age on it? NOBODY. Each of us are individuals and our daily living is completely different so therefore our level of energy, fitness and so on are also different. We are all unique in our own ways. Society today has different views on age, some think 40 is old and others say 50 is old, when in actual fact age is only a number. People preparing for retirement should never be made to feel like there life is ending. They need to be supported by their families and friends in order to make the transition from working 5 days a week for the last 40 odd years to having a lot more free time on their hands. A positive attitude towards retirement is a must also and you will find that the fear for these people is quiet strong and may cause them a lot of stress and anguish if they are not supported emotionally and reassured about everything including the bright future that lies ahead for them. The services and activities available in their local area will show them that there life is still well and truly for living. My own area of Edenderry supplies a wide range of activities for not only retiring people but also stuff that there family may want to become involved with. My local nursing home Ofalia House runs a day care centre in their premises which supply numerous activities for the older people in the community. These include daily games of bingo which all generations enjoy. I pop along with my nanny every now and then. Arts and Crafts, Pottery and Exercise classes are also available. Some services include a hairdressers at reduced rates so it won’t break the bank. (Ofalia House 2015) Along with what I believe to be an amazing service called “Meals On Wheels”. (Meals on Wheels 2014) They supply dinners to locals who for whatever reason may not wish to attend the day care facility. This service is very convenient for people and reasonably priced saving them time and money.

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My local library also runs a chess class for all ages on a Wednesday evening from 7pm-8pm. Arts and Crafts is also on here on a Wednesday morning from 11am-1pm. (Offaly County Council 2014) My local GAA club also runs bingo every Sunday night. This could be suitable for people who like to go out of an evening as opposed to playing at the day care centre. Again all the family can join in. (Edenderry GAA 2014) There are also a number of organisations which aid with retirement and other needs for the older person, some of which include Age Action, Bluebird Care, Active Retirement Ireland and Age & Opportunity. These are amazing sites with loads of information for the retiring person their family and also their possible healthcare assistants. It is also the carer’s duty along with the families in order to show encouragement and to be positive about everything. I would also be offering my hand of friendship which in turn will lead to their trust in me and I would take the time to sit and talk about their life experiences through which I have no doubt that I would gain loads of knowledge from and I would value every second that I was in their company. Sometimes all that is needed is a good chat and a cup of tea. They need to be felt valued and that their voice is been heard.

Factoring in the person’s religious beliefs is also an important factor. A recent report carried out in Poland shows that 46% of the people asked associated retirement with “ill health”. It is important to put a plan into action in order to change people’s mind set and prove that retirement really is there to enjoy. (Poland Country Report 2014) Ireland and Poland differ in this regard as I don’t feel Ireland relates retirement with so much negativity. Although some find the transition hard they do gel well into it and realise how much fun it can be. Retirement age is 66 in Ireland and currently 60 for women in Poland and 65 for men. However this is been hired up to 67 for both this year. (The Independent 2015) This in turn will allow polish people more time to adjust to retirement as I feel that especially 60 for a woman is too young. Also I have seen how well respected and treated the older people in Poland are as opposed to Ireland where we seem to treat them like their babies when in actual fact they have more wisdom and life experience than any of us. This needs to change. People need to wake up and realise that they are fully grown human beings and they need to be treated that way. It is extremely important to take care of an older person’s health. Always remember however that the older person is always the leader of any discussions appointments or plans which concern them. This will make them feel a sense of self-worth and that they are been included in every aspect and overall the goal is the same, to make sure they live out their retirement to its full potential and do everything they choose to. As you may find they have taken a drop in wages from weekly earnings to just the pension. Some people may have prepared for retirement by saving each week but the majority of people in this climate have little or no savings and these are the ones that will struggle financially. Reflecting on my own personal experience with my grandparents, they were bringing up their children in the 60’s 70’s 80’s 90’s and 00’s so they didn’t have money to prepare for retirement as every cent went on providing food clothing and shelter for their children. Although now they aren’t struggling I felt the need to ask one question. If it was a choice between food and heat what would you pick? Heat… I think you would find the majority of older people will pick heat. Therefore it is important that both the family and healthcare assistant are aware of this and arrange regular check-ups with the doctor who will keep an eye on their overall health as poor diet can lead to malnutrition. The doctor will do up a list of healthy and cheap foods in order for the person to be able to stay in full health and afford to be able to do so. I have enclosed a copy of a food pyramid for the older person. (Tufts 2002)

Therapeutic therapies are extremely important. The availability of which include physio therapy which is located in my own local day care centre. This will help with their overall ability to move around better, circulate their bodies and also having fun at the same time. These therapies don’t have to be kept serious they can be made enjoyable for all involved. (Ofalia House 2014) According to their level of strength and fitness suitable exercises should be combined and made into a fun activity, get all the family involved, it could be a walk along the canal to feed the ducks, it could be horse riding or it could even be yoga. Family can play a very active role here and at the same time without realising it they are putting a smile on their loved one’s face and making them feel alive and that life really can be fun. Another beneficial therapy may include occupational therapy which will help encourage people to live out and achieve their dreams, be it a simple task or a bigger task/ambition. Leaflets on healthy balanced diets and fitness can be found in your local doctors or in some cases the library. Visiting is extremely important also as it shows that they are taught and cared about so much. Some will have down days and need your support, be it emotional or physical, you just need to be there in whatever role you can.


Upon completing this assignment I have found that my local area caters very well for helping the older generation in preparing and dealing with retirement. It has a number of facilities, activities and support networks in place in order to encourage and support them through the process. However if I were to make one point it would be to maybe try and set up an outdoors club, i.e. a walking club, gardening club and so on. This would be beneficial to both the individual and their family. As a community however I found that there is still massive stigma associated with the older people and again begs the question… “How old is old?”

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”

(Ireland Calling 2014)



Online Images

Tufts (2002). Food Guide Pyramid for Older Adults {online image}, available: http://www.highfiber-health.com/images/Seniors_food_pyramid.gif

{Accessed 2nd January 2015}

Personal One to One Conversations

Farrell V. (2015) Ofalia House. Edenderry. Co. Offaly


Poland Country Report (2014) The Changing Face of Retirement {online}, available: http://www.aegon.com/Documents/aegon-com/Research/2014-Retirement-Survey/Country-Reports/Aegon-Retirement-Survey-2014-Poland.pdf


Age Action (2014) Promotes positive ageing and better policies and services for older people {online}, available: http://www.ageaction.ie/

{Accessed 29th December 2014}

Age & Opportunity (2014) Life is for Living {online}, available: http://www.ageandopportunity.ie/about

{Accessed 2nd January 2015}

Bluebird Care (2014) Care at Home and in the Community {online}, available: http://bluebirdcare.ie

{Accessed Date 2nd January 2015}

Edenderry GAA (2014) Cumann Luthchleas Gael {online}, available: http://www.edenderrygaa.com/

{Accessed 30th December 2014}

Ireland Calling (2014) CS Lewis quotes {online}, available:


{Accessed 5th January 2015}

Offaly County Council (2014) Edenderry Library {online}, available: http://www.offaly.ie/eng/Services/Libraries/Library_Branches/Edenderry_Library/

{Accessed 2nd January 2015}

The Independent (2015) Poland raises retirement age to 67 {online}, available: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/poland-raises-retirement-age-to-67-7736903.html

{Accessed 22nd January 2015


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The ageing process is of course a biological reality which has its own dynamic, largely beyond human control. However, it is also subject to the constructions by which each society makes sense of old age. In the developed world, chronological time plays a paramount role.

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