Age & Opportunity today announced €66,010 in grants for the promotion of physical activity amongst older people in 94 nursing homes and day care centres nationwide.
Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers welcomed the announcement saying: “The long-running Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme has proven an excellent resource in enabling older people to become more physically active. The grants announced today recognise the importance of physical activity for those who live in and use nursing homes and day centres. Approximately 13,000 people will benefit from these grants.
“The grant means so much,” said Veronica Callanan, Acting manager at Carrigoran Health and Day Care centre in Co Clare, one of the 94 homes to benefit from the scheme. “It means that we can purchase equipment that is versatile for our clients, meets all of their needs and all of their different abilities.”
Launched in September 2022 the grants scheme is open to all nursing homes and day care settings who aim to increase levels and frequency of participation in physical activity, of those in care. It is a combined initiative from Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland.
The grant also supports the work of CarePALs. These are staff and volunteers from care settings who have undertaken the Age & Opportunity Active CarePALs course, which empowers them to lead suitable physical activity sessions with those who live or visit their setting.
Speaking about the grant, Dr. Una May, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, welcomed Age & Opportunity Active programme’s focus this time on nursing homes and care centres.
“We are delighted to award funding to the Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme. Given the circumstances that people who live in nursing homes have found themselves in these last couple of years due to COVID-19, keeping physically active or returning to activity is more important than ever. The grant acts as a valuable resource in getting more older people more active and we are delighted to share the good news of these grants today.”
Karen Horgan, CEO of Age & Opportunity, said today’s grant funding is helping create an Ireland where more older people can be more active and more connected. The allocation of these grants ensures that the benefits of physical activity in care settings is promoted and recognised, and allows us to support care settings in developing meaningful activities that will have a valuable impact on both the physical and mental health of the residents and clients.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Sport Ireland. Age & Opportunity works to ensure equality of participation for all older people, irrespective of background, culture, identity, setting or location.”
Tadhg Daly, CEO of Nursing Homes Ireland welcomed the initiative, saying:
“Almost 100 nursing homes and day centres within Irish communities that support the day-to-day living needs of thousands of older people will benefit from the Active National Grant Scheme this year. Physical activity fulfils an integral role in supporting, maintaining and improving the health and wellbeing of nursing home residents, whilst also promoting fun, camaraderie and happiness. We are delighted to support this initiative, which will bring great benefits to nursing home residents.”
Sarah O’Brien of HSE Health & Wellbeing, Healthy Eating Active Living Programme also welcomed the grant scheme saying:
“The CarePALs initiative is a really valuable support to staff in our day and residential services for older people. Building their skills and capacity to improve the health and wellbeing of older adults in our care by increasing their opportunity to participate in physical activity. All the evidence shows that when people, whatever their age or ability, are active and moving it improves mood, sleep and physical health. This grant scheme is a further invaluable support from Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland to improving activity opportunities for all older adults.”
This grant is part of the Active National Grant Scheme announced in May 2022 when an initial €514,120 was allocated to nearly 1,000 groups and organisations around Ireland promoting sport and physical activity for older people. This brings the total Active National Grant Scheme awarded this year by Age & Opportunity to €580,130.
The Grant Scheme is part of Age & Opportunity’s Active programme, funded by Sport Ireland, and delivered nationwide with the support of Local Sports Partnerships and the HSE.