Commissioner joins with Libraries NI and The OU to host 'Changing attitudes to ageing' event

On Monday 8 April from 1:30pm to 4:00pm, Omagh Library will host a unique event focusing on Changing Attitudes to Ageing for the people of Fermanagh and Omagh.

Commissioner for Older People NI (COPNI), The Open University Ireland (OU) and Libraries NI are coming together to share the important message of embracing a proactive approach to ageing well. The free event aims to start a cultural shift in how ageing is viewed, advising people how to make positive life changes whilst also celebrating the invaluable contributions of older people in our communities.

There will be several charities and organisations with stands in the library during the event for attendees to view the information available and to ask questions followed by talks from the Commissioner for Older People Eddie Lynch and Dr. Sinéad Eccles, a chartered neuropsychologist from The Open University.

The Commissioner for Older People will give a brief presentation on the importance of having a positive attitude to ageing which will be followed by tea and coffee during which attendees will have the opportunity to engage directly with Commissioner Eddie Lynch and Dr. Sinead Eccles to discuss and explore the challenges faced by older individuals today.

After the refreshment, Dr. Sinéad Eccles will share simple habits anyone can introduce into daily routines to boost long-term health whilst also helping people to stay strong, sharp and independent. During the talk, there will be a focus on the importance of reading which is vital for brain health and happiness and the library offers an ideal place for people to start make positive changes.

Eddie Lynch, The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland said:

“I am delighted to join Libraries NI and the OU to promote this Changing Attitudes to Ageing event. Tackling Ageism is one of my key priorities and my recent report ‘Are you ageist?’ found that ageism is still one of the most socially accepted forms of discrimination in Northern Ireland.

“Research shows that adopting a positive attitude towards getting older contributes to a longer, more fulfilling life. However, embracing such positivity can be challenging due to the negative stereotypes of older adults that still exist in our society. If internalised, these prejudices can lead to self-doubt and limiting beliefs.

“I believe older people should feel confident in their worth, and we should all celebrate the valuable contributions made by older adults in our communities; through experience at work, offering childcare and in volunteering roles.

“Changing our attitudes towards ageing and promoting the wellbeing of older adults is vital to ensure Northern Ireland remains a great place to grow older.”

Dr. Jim O’Hagan Libraries NI Chief Executive, said;

"Libraries serve as vital hubs for older people, offering a range of programmes and services designed to foster community engagement and personal growth. We offer a wide range of programmes in local libraries including Go On, Knit and Natter and Tea and Newspapers, we provide customers the opportunity for continued learning and social engagement which can prove vital to ageing well. We are proud to join forces with COPNI and the OU to lead on this important initiative that promotes positive ageing and celebrates the rich contributions of older adults."

Speaking ahead of the event The Open University’s Dr. Sinéad Eccles said:

“I’m delighted to speak at this event which will help shine a light on the importance of adopting simple lifestyle choices that can have a positive impact on the rest of your life. Research shows that 70-80% of your ageing rate is largely determined by environmental factors and many of these are within our gift to change. By making small lifestyle changes, we can live longer, healthier lives.

I’ll be referencing the importance of being active, eating well and socialising before taking a deeper dive into the benefits of keeping the brain engaged, through activities like reading, and learning something new every day.”

With a shared passion for serving people and providing essential support, Libraries NI, COPNI and the OU are committed to empowering individuals to make informed choices about their ageing journey.

For more information and to register your interest contact Omagh Library on telephone 028 8244 0733 or email