A ‘youth club’ has opened for elderly people in Belfast.
The facility, near the peace line in the west of the city, will provide advice, support and gym facilities for older people.
The manager of a charitable association linked to the scheme, Terry McNeill, says that the aim of the project is to encourage a more active and healthy lifestyle via diet, exercise and socialising.
One of the most interesting aspects of the centre is that it was been designed to help those with demential, including wide colours and bright colours.
Let us hope that this project is a success and the beginning of other similar schemes across Northern Ireland.
One of the great triumphs of modern medicine is that people are living far longer than they were living only 50 years ago, let alone hundreds of years past.
This increasing life span might continue well into the future, and some scientists are talking seriously about a coming time when it becomes the norm for people to live a century.
If so, many things about how society is run and how people live will have to change.
There are some unfortunate consequences that come with increasing life expectancy, including increased pressures on the NHS and increased loneliness.
Dementia is perhaps the biggest challenge of all that flows from the revolution in longevity. A large proportion of people over the age of 70 suffer it, and treatments are limited. It is a source of major anxiety to people who fear they might be prone to suffer from it and their relatives.
Tackling these problems will be an issue in years to come. In the meantime, anything that helps older people make friends, stay active and live more healthily is welcome.
Exercise has clearly proven benefits on the mood of people of all ages, and if elderly people can exercise safely, at a pace suitable for them and in a sociable setting, all the better.