New projects to mark Older People’s Week

AN INNOVATIVE new project, ‘Gabhaibh gréim air a’ gheamhradh’ (Get a Grip this Winter) is set to be launched by the Older People’s Partnership on the first day of Older People’s Week (October 1st to 6th).

Funded by the Change Fund, and managed by the Volunteer Centre Western Isles (on behalf of the Older People’s Partnership), the project aims to support older people to venture out during icy winter conditions by offering free ice grips that are fitted to outdoor shoes.

A new Western Isles Older People’s website, set up by the NHS Western Isles Health Promotion Department on behalf of the Older People’s Partnership, will also be launched on October 1st, which is International Day of Older People.

The website has been developed by the Older People’s Partnership in partnership with NHS Western Isles’ Health Promotion Department and can be viewed at from October 1st.

The launch of both projects will take place at the Lewis Retirement Centre, Bayhead, Stornoway, at 1pm.

Events will also be held during Older People’s Week in Talla Chidhe (Lochboisdale); Tagsa Uibhist building (East Camp, Benbecula), and the Nurses Cottage (Berneray).

The Volunteer Centre Western Isles will also be visiting older people’s groups in Barra the following week, to promote the new website.

The events to mark Older People’s Week have been organised by the Older People’s Partnership, which is made up of representatives from the statutory organisations, third sector and private partners who all have an interest in improving services for people in later life.

The aims of the partnership are to achieve the best possible health and wellbeing in later life, encourage and enable older people to live as independently as possible, identify and promote the needs of older people and their carers and provide an opportunity for information sharing and promoting partnership working.

The Chair of the Older People’s Partnership, Kirsty Street, added: “Over 42 older people’s clubs/groups exist in the Western Isles from Barra to Lewis.

“The groups meet regularly in their local communities and the partnership would like to acknowledge the very valuable contribution these groups make in maintaining social contact for older people.

“Through the events organised for Older People’s Week, and the launch of the new project and website, the Older People’s Partnership hopes to maintain a focus on improving the experiences and services for older people in the Western Isles.”

NHS Western Isles Senior Health Promotion Officer Tina Burgess added: “The Partnership first started celebrating Older People’s Week in the Western Isles in 2008, and the annual events have helped highlight the increasingly critical role that older people play in our communities; through work, transmitting experience and knowledge, and helping their families with caring responsibilities.

“The roles that older people play locally are particularly important in the Western Isles, which has one of the most elderly populations in Scotland. Our grandparents’ knowledge, values, spirituality, culture and heritage is very evident here, and these are qualities that should be nurtured.”