Junior Ministers Jennifer McCann and Jonathan Bell launched the Consultation for the Active Ageing Strategy at the Pensioners Parliament, organised by the Age Sector Platform, in Belfast City Hall.
Social, economic, environmental and health improvements have meant that people are living longer than before and life expectancy in Northern Ireland is now 77 for males and 82 for females.
Speaking at the event Junior Minister Jennifer McCann said: “People are now living longer, more active lives and we must reach out to older generations to better understand their needs and recognise the significant contribution they continue to make.
“The Executive is committed to tackling ageism and age discrimination and will encourage active ageing and put in place the building blocks for a future generation of older people to age with respect, dignity, choice and good health. This Strategy and proposed actions are designed to make a real difference to the quality of life of older people to enable as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits and rewards of life for as long as possible.
“I urge everyone with an interest, and in particular older people, to share their views and ensure their voice is heard at the very heart of Government.”
Junior Minister Jonathan Bell added: “The Executive is committed to improving the lives of our older people and it is vital that we make the right decisions now to enable us all to enjoy healthy active lives in the future.
“The Active Ageing Strategy sets out a vision of Northern Ireland as an age friendly region in which people, as they get older, are valued and supported to live actively to their fullest potential, with their rights and dignity protected.
“I cannot emphasise enough how important your views are. We need your help and wisdom to make sure this strategy is right. Please let us know what you think and help build a better future for today’s and tomorrow’s older people.”
Claire Keatinge, Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland said: “I would encourage everyone to respond and give their feedback to ensure that the government reflects the hopes, concerns and aspirations of older people across Northern Ireland.”The consultation is available on:
or contact the Active Ageing Policy Team on 02890 523433; e-mail: