The movement, pioneered by DCU in 2012, recognizes the benefits and importance of welcoming and accommodating students and staff from all stages of the adult lifespan.
The ten principles of an Age-Friendly University cover a broad range of elements, from recognition of the range of educational needs of older people to access to the sports, leisure and cultural aspects of university life. Perhaps the most exciting element is the fostering of intergenerational learning and exposure of younger students to a richer understanding of possibilities of later life.
We are delighted to adopt these principles and to act and engage in activities that will encourage our older members and staff to develop their skills through education and intergenerational learning.
Dr Diarmuid O'SheaRCPI Registrar
RCPI Members and Fellows who have retired in the conventional sense, remain very involved in the various activities within the College, such as providing clinical expertise for educational programmes and courses and speaking at College and Faculty conferences.
The Age-Friendly University views older adults as a particularly important group whose participation in university life is enriching for everybody. The influence of an older body of students offers a different perspective and a richer understanding of the range of possibilities open to people of all ages, not just our younger people. The importance of these and other activities of Positive Ageing Week for healthcare is subtle but potentially seismic in the long run. It is increasingly clear that the erosion of ageism, the greatest barrier to healthcare of those statistically in most need of it, is ill-served by diatribes against ageism.
Prof Des O' NeillChair, RCPI Policy Group on Ageing
Other ways in which RCPI is adopting the principles include a Mentoring programme where older or retired members act as mentors to new Consultants. Older members are also involved in leadership roles across the College.
The RCPI Policy Group on Ageing was established in January 2017 to address issues of national importance in the area of health and wellbeing of our older population. Its overall aim is to influence national policy on a range of healthcare issues for older people.
The St Luke’s public meeting ‘Living and Ageing Well in the 21st Century’ will take place in RCPI, No. 6 Kildare St, Dublin 2 on Thursday, 19 October. If you would like to attend this event, you can book your place at www.rcpi.ie/stlukes2017/