The Definitive Guide to Active Retirement 2014

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The definitive guide to...

Active retirement IRISH getaways over 55s special offers

keep safe & secure at home

health & wellbeing plus • tips & advice • places to visit • finance • back to education

top 10

places

to

re t i re



A warm welcome...

W

elcome to the very first edition of The Definitive Guide to Active Retirement, a new publication aimed at Irish residents over the age of 55. We hope that this magazine will be an invaluable resource to you, whether you are retired, approaching retirement or caring for older people. Among these pages, you will find articles on health and beauty, financial advice from Ulster Bank, the best places in Ireland to enjoy a relaxing ‘stay-cation’, the top 10 places to retire abroad and much, much more. We would love to hear feedback on this first edition from our readers, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch by email at info@rdmarketingandmedia.com or via our Facebook page, which you can access at facebook.com/IrishRetirement. We will also be sharing our favourite articles, competitions and tips on Facebook, so pay us a visit and join the Definitive Guide community! Catherine Keehan

Catherine Editor

Published by: RD Marketing and Media Unit 1, Office 5 Airport Business Park, Waterford T: 051 364 267 E: info@rdmarketingandmedia.com Publisher: Ruán Dignam E: ruan@rdmarketingandmedia.com Editor: Catherine Keehan E: kate@rdmarketingandmedia.com Sales: Sandra O’Brien T: 021 2428168 M: 085 8501890 E: sandra@rdmarketingandmedia.com Articles contributed by: Catherine Keehan, Chevy Johnston, Peter Kavanagh, Gemma Swansburg, National Adult Literacy Agency and Homecare Medical Supplies Design: Mandy Boosey E: mandyboosey@yahoo.com

Disclaimer: Whilst every care has been taken to secure names, addresses and particulars of entries, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for inaccuracies or omissions. All Information is accepted as correct at time of going to press. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying and recording, without the written permission of the copyright holder, application for which should be addressed to the publisher. Such written permission should also be obtained before any part of this publication is stored in a retrieval system of any nature.


Contents Irish getaways 6 Station House Hotel Meath

A warm welcome awaits in the heart of the Boyne Valley

8 Waterside House Hotel

Ireland’s only hotel that can proudly say it is actually ‘on the beach’!

P6

P30 26 Croke Park stadium tour

An in-depth look at one of the most modern sporting arenas in the world

30 Discounts and freebies

Attractions and venues with reduces rates and free entry for seniors

9 Abbey Hotel

18th Century manor castle house hotel in the heart of Roscommon town

retirement abroad 30 Top 10 places to retire

12 The Shamrock Lodge Hotel

Retirement can be a great time to make a big move

Leisure time 16 Passport for Leisure

Taking care of your bones

Traditional Irish hospitality abounds

Ireland’s first discount card scheme specifically for people aged 55 and older

Places to visit 19 Titanic Experience Cobh

The unique story of Titanic through the eyes of the Queenstown passengers

22 Butlers

Discover a unique chocolate adventure

The Definitive guide to active retirement

Health & wellbeing 42 Osteoporosis 50 Homecare Medical The right equipment to help keep individuals cared for in their own homes

52 Key for a happy retirement

Active Retirement Ireland advises on the importance of planning for your retirement

P56


Irish getaways

P62

SECURITY 62 Seniors Alert

Communities supporting older people

65 Helplink South

Socially monitored alarms

Education 66 Going back to education You’re never to old to learn!

56 Tips for an active retirement Keeping healthy and positive in your retirement is vital

finance 72 Advice from Ulster Bank

59 Ageing gracefully

There is no reason to dread growing older. It happens to everyone!

P66

Young at heart packages 2 nights B&B + dinners from only €109pps 3 nights B&B + dinners from only €159pps • Luxurious accommodation with full Irish breakfast each morning. • Dinner on each evening in the Terrace Bar or Seasons Restaurant • Welcome drink on arrival • Free parking • Complimentary access to the leisure centre, including pool, sauna, steamroon & Jacuzzi No single supplement. Offers are valid from Sunday to Thursday or weekends at an additional cost. Please quote ‘Active Retirement’ to avail of the Young at Heart Packages

The Boyne Valley Hotel in Drogheda is a beautiful 19th century country house set in 16 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland. A traditional warm Irish welcome awaits. For business, pleasure or simply a quiet break away our country house hotel has everything you’re looking for and more.

Dublin Road, Drogheda, Co. Louth • Tel: 041 983 7737

reservations@boyne-valley-hotel.ie • www.boyne-valley-hotel.ie


Irish getaways

Meath or Dublin? The choice is yours...

Whether you choose the historic Station House Hotel in Kilmessan, Meath or The Waterside House Hotel in Dublin you’re sure of a very warm welcome and the perfect short break

R

esearch has shown that short breaks make people happier than one long holiday helping you to feel more at ease, contented and peaceful, it also helps with improving your physical and mental well-being. The Station House Hotel

If you love a ‘point of difference’ on a mini break, especially when it’s pitched at the quaint, homely end of the spectrum you will fall in love with The Station House Hotel, Kilmessan, Meath. When you take your first steps onto the grounds of The Station House Hotel you will find a historic The Definitive guide to active retirement

country house hotel that is more than matched by its excellent Signal Restaurant and fabulous gardens to really give a relaxing vibe. A comfy night awaits you with full table service the next morning for breakfast, no lazy buffet. Chef David Mulvihill creates delights such as crisp confit of duck leg, braised red cabbage and mango coulis, champagne sorbet, homemade Rathfeigh venison burger, served in a toasted soft bap, topped with tomatoes, red onion, baby leaves and Station House relish, and to finish poached pears in red wine jus, vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce. The privately owned, 3-star

Converted from the original Signal Box, the Signal Suite is your very own private hotel and the only one of it’s kind in Ireland! Excellent dishes – using only the freshest ingredients – are prepared to delight our most discerning guests



Irish getaways

Station House Hotel is ideally situated in the heart of The Boyne Valley, in quiet, picturesque Kilmessan, Meath. The Boyne Valley has been a popular tourist destination for many years, thanks to its pleasurable landscape of significant historical importance. The Waterside House Hotel

Located only 10 minutes from Dublin Airport just off the M1 and 20 minutes from Dublin City Centre, The Waterside House Hotel is reached by travelling via winding country lanes lined with lush green fields and golf courses. However your pot of gold at the end of this rainbow is the beach setting the hotel finds itself located in. The Waterside House Hotel is without doubt one of the most delightful small hotels to be found on the coast of Ireland. Ireland’s only hotel that can proudly say it is actually ‘on the beach’! To make the most of your visit an executive room with a sea view and balcony is the way to go. The Definitive guide to active retirement

The hotel also houses the new and extremely popular Samphire Restaurant. Samphire has been nominated for Best Chef with Tom Walsh and Best Hotel Restaurant in Ireland with the RAI final awards due to take place in June. Couples and groups of friends will enjoy this hotel’s friendly and down to earth nature which ‘chain’ hotels simply cannot provide. Donabate, North Dublin has been a popular tourist destination for many years, thanks to its very beautiful landscape.

There a number of rooms and suites in our sea view collection of accommodation. The Samphire restaurant rates among the top in County Dublin

furt her i n f o rmat i o n The Station House Hotel, Boyne Valley Three-nights are available from e354 per person which includes accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more information and to book, phone +353 46 902 5239 quoting ACTIVE or visit www.stationhousehotel.ie

The Waterside House Hotel, Dublin Three-nights are available from e282 per person which includes accommodation, breakfast, and dinner. For more information and to book, phone +353 1 843 6153 quoting ACTIVE or visit www.watersidehousehotel.ie


Irish getaways

Roscommon awaits...

The Abbey Hotel is situated in the heart of Roscommon town and has lots of recommendations for great things to do in County Roscommon that suit young and old alike

N

o visit to County Roscommon is complete without a stay in the 4 Star Abbey Hotel nestled in the heart of Roscommon Town. The charming 18th Century Manor Castle house hotel has been in the Grealy family for four generations. With it’s private

manicured gardens and wonderful ambience, it provides the ideal setting for a truly memorable stay. This family friendly establishment with full pool and leisure facilities also provide a reputable babysitting service. To relax and unwind pre-book a relaxing therapy in our treatment

Spacious ensuite bedrooms have been individually designed and decorated to an exceptional standard, giving a classically luxurious edge. Find time to relax in our health and leisure centre

The Definitive guide to active retirement


Irish getaways

rooms or enjoy drinks and dinner at our award winning restaurant. “You never know who you could bump into during your stay at the Abbey, with Hollywood movie star Chris O’Dowd hailing from nearby Boyle town and Tom Cruise recently proclaiming that his ancestors hail from Kilteevan, just a few miles out the road! Former President Mary McAleese was a frequent visitor to the hotel with many other famous faces staying with us down through the years”, added Geraldine Grealy PR for the Abbey Hotel Renowned as a leading wedding venue the Abbey is also a recent winner of a Restaurant Association of Ireland Best Customer Service Award. 10 The Definitive guide to active retirement

The award winning restaurant overlooking the majestic Abbey Ruins serves succulent locally sourced produce. A full carvery and exciting bar food menu are served 7 days.

Dine in our award winning resaurant that overlooks the historic ruins of Roscommon Caste or discover beautiful Lough Key at Boyle


Irish getaways

Things to do...

as recommended by 4* Abbey Hotel • R oscommon Bowling Alley, 10 minute walk from the hotel.

• C lonalis House, Castlerea t: 094 96 20014

ount Cashel Horse Riding • M Stables, 5 miles from hotel.

astlecoote House, 5 miles • C from Roscommon.

e newly re-opened Loco Cinema • Th Complex – 5 minutes from hotel.

lendeer Pet Farm • G t: 090 64 37147

• K ing House Boyle t: 071 96 63242 e: kinghouse@roscommon.ie

ent a cruiser on the beautiful • R River Shannon, Lanesboro

• Loughnenane Park and ruins of the oscommon Golf Club • R historic Roscommon Castle. t: 09066 26384. Thursdays are over 65’s day. Special golf breaks available • Friday morning Farmers Market on www.abbeyhotel.ie

Take a cruiser and explore the breathtaking scenery on the River Shannon at Lanesboro

• Strokestown Park House t: 071 96 33013 e: info@strokestownparkhouse.ie

• Tarmon Harbour Marina – boat hire on the Shannon t: 043 33 26021 • D erryglad Folk Museum t: 09064 88192

• Cruachan Ai Tulsk t: 071 96 39268 rigna Mining Experience • A t: 071 96 46466 e: info@arignaminingexperience.ie

Fantastic offers for over 55’s:

3BB1D e145.00pps 2BB1D e129.00pps

Enjoy an in-expensive holiday in County Roscommon at the 4* Abbey Hotel Carvery and bar food served daily Family packages also available. All offers and rates subject to availability.

Abbey Hotel 4* Conference & Leisure Centre Galway Road, Roscommon Tel: 090 66 26240 www.abbeyhotel.ie

The Definitive guide to active retirement 11


Irish getaways

Traditional

Irish hospitality

Take a break in the heart of Ireland and let our family at The Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone look after yours...

A

t the end of a tree lined avenue The Shamrock Lodge Hotel proudly sits on its private grounds and gardens. Our well manicured gardens and glorious mature trees provide a stunning backdrop for those important occasions. Explore and enjoy the peaceful gardens or take one of our recommended walks of the historic town of Athlone. 12 The Definitive guide to active retirement

We are ideally located less than a 10 minute walk from the historic town of Athlone the heart of Ireland and a five minute taxi from Athlone bus and rail station – a transfer can be arranged prior to arrival through the hotel. Explore it all in the midlands; from the rich hinterland one can sample the wild beauty of the Irish bogs, and the delights of

The Shamrock Lodge Hotel offers a very warm welcome and a superb restaurant dining experience


athlone, co. westmeath

Over 55’s/ Young at Heart break

Golden Years Package in the heart of ireland... Explore the historic town of Athlone from shopping to relaxing, golfing and tours. Live music in-house at weekends. The hotel is just a 5 minute drive from Athlone rail and bus station and a transfer car can be arranged prior to arrival through hotel reception.

Offer includes B&B with traditional Irish breakfast, evening meals, afternoon tea on arrival plus complimentary newspaper each morning. 2 B&B 2 Dinners

3 B&B 3 Dinners

from

from

only

€89

only

€139

4 B&B 4 Dinners +

tour and entertainment from

only

€199

Prices are per person sharing. No single supplement. One FREE place for groups of 20+ guests.

Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland.

+353 (0)90 649 2601 • www.shamrocklodgehotel.ie


Irish getaways

the River Shannon and Lough Ree along with the history and heritage of Athlone Castle, The Luan Gallery Clonmacnoise & Strokestown House. Athlone is a great location to explore the Midlands from – visit quaint villages, historic castles, heritage sites and gardens in the Lakelands region of Ireland

Warmth and graciousness

From the moment you enter the hotels elegant reception area you will find a warmth and graciousness which sets the style for the entire hotel. Throughout, the emphasis is on tasteful surroundings and traditional Irish hospitality. Off the main reception area is a lobby area and our Iona Bar which still holds its country house character and still enjoys the views of the gardens. Share laughter and a bottle of wine with friends or

14 The Definitive guide to active retirement

quietly browse a good book alone over a mug of hot chocolate the choice is yours! You will soon find that The Shamrock Lodge Hotel is a place where the hustle and bustle of our modern day life can seem like it is far behind. From the main reception area and lobby you can choose a modern King Superior room with views over the landscaped gardens and with private balcony or a two bedroom suite which are our ‘home away from home’ apart hotels.Two bedrooms with larger living area all under the one roof perfect for family or an intimate get together with friends. Our Ath Luain restaurant will take you back in time when dining


Irish getaways

was an event and meant to be savored, it is the perfect place for a quiet and intimate dinner in a historic and charming hotel. Our expert team of chefs will create tempting dishes for that relaxing dinner for two, entertaining or celebrating big occasions and family events. We have a reputation amongst those who like eating out for always delivering a superb restaurant dining experience with both its lunch and dinner menus. Sophisticated atmosphere

A good bar with great staff is the heart of any hotel, whether for regulars, who find it a welcome home-from-home, or visitors looking for somewhere to unwind

after a busy day in Athlone town. Iona Bar & Brassiere meets these needs exactly, with comfortable seating and an unhurried, sophisticated atmosphere: it is the ideal place to relax and has the added advantage of a brassiere menu of classic dishes created by the hotel’s Chef. The menu is perfect for light lunches, pre- and post-theatre dinners or simply just lunch or dinner.

A comfortable room awaits at The Shamrock Lodge Hotel after discovering the wild beauty of the Irish peat bogs

furt her i nformat ion To book your break away in the real heart of Ireland and stay at The Shamrock Lodge Hotel Athlone call 090 649 2601 and let our family look after yours. www.shamrocklodgehotel.ie

The Definitive guide to active retirement 15


leisure time

Passport for Leisure P

assport for Leisure was Ireland’s first discount card scheme specifically for people aged 55 and older. The Passport for Leisure Scheme is Ireland’s first discount card scheme specifically tailored to the leisure and recreational needs of persons aged 55 and older. The scheme entitles members to avail of a range of special discounts from 16 The Definitive guide to active retirement

access and use of Dublin City Council Sport, Leisure and Recreational facilities to a large range of specific discounts from the business sector. In becoming a member of the Passport for Leisure Scheme you are joining a rapidly growing club whose members are enjoying the obvious financial benefits of the discounts, and you are empowered to take an


leisure time

It’s your life, live it. It’s your city, enjoy it

Dublin City Council’s ‘Passport for Leisure’ will soon be issuing it’s 55,000th membership card enhanced role in the leisure and recreational potential of our wonderful city of Dublin. The scheme offers users huge discounts to all Dublin City Council leisure centres and swimming pools, as well as a range of discounts for recreational and leisure activities in Dublin City including eating out, swimming, golf/pitch and putt, travel, hair and beauty,

shopping, sports halls/ gymnasiums and cultural events. It also includes ideas for ‘great days out’, offering members ideas on places to spend the day as well as great discounts at the various attractions including ‘two for the price of one’ offers so that they can bring a friend along for the day. Since its launch in May 2007 the scheme has surpassed

all expectations with a huge take-up of memberships from the older community ensuring an inclusive and active lifestyle. Interest from the private sector continues to grow with 900 plus businesses recognising the power of the ‘grey euro’ and participating in the scheme. The Passport for Leisure scheme was launched in 2007 as part of Dublin City Council’s Embracing Ageing

The Definitive guide to active retirement 17


leisure time

Remember Dublin is your city; don’t miss this great opportunity to get out and about! Festival, a celebration of older people. It is a project that can actually make a difference to the quality of life for older residents in the city. We’ve been completely bowled over by the level of interest in the project in terms of membership application, the increased business interest offering discounts for their services and the positive reaction and support from groups who work with and advocate for older persons. Members are availing of a huge range of Dublin City

Council leisure facilities and the scheme has thousands of discounts from the private

sector covering restaurants, hotels, travel, and numerous shopping opportunities.

furt her i n f o rmat i o n Applications for membership are accepted online at www.passportforleisure.ie or by telephone on 01 618 5000 or by post to Passport for Leisure, First Floor, 60 Grand Canal Street Upper, Dublin 4. Anyone can join the scheme once they are 55 years or over, no matter where they reside in Ireland. The annual membership fee costs e10.00 per person. Further information and details of discounts can be found on our website www.passportforleisure.ie.

18 The Definitive guide to active retirement


places to visit

All aboard the

Titanic Titanic Experience Cobh tells the unique story of Titanic through the eyes of the Queenstown passengers and discovers the strong Irish links to Titanic

T

itanic Experience Cobh is a new visitor centre, located in the original White Star Line Ticket Office in the centre of Cobh town (formally known as Queenstown) in what was the departure point for the final 123 passengers who boarded the Titanic. Our visitor experience is

presented in two parts. The first is an exciting immersive audio visual tour retracing the steps of the 123 passengers who boarded Titanic from Queenstown on April 11th 1912. Experience their anticipation of the long journey ahead and their new life waiting in America. With

Fourth Officer Boxall as your virtual guide, innovative audio visual technology and replica set designs, ‘passengers’ will experience what life would have been like on board for those 123 Queenstown Passengers. Visitors will share the excitement of boarding the most luxurious liner of her

The Definitive guide to active retirement 19


places to visit

For those considering visiting the South of Ireland this year, Titanic Experience is a must!

time and feel the horror of the tragedy on that fateful night on the 15th April 1912. The second part of the Titanic Experience examines how it all went wrong; the unbelievable and ‘almost’ impossible sequence of events that occurred to cause Titanic to sink. Interactive exhibits and computer generated graphics recreating the collision and subsequent sinking, film analysis of the Titanic on the sea bed and expert interviews allow visitors to find out how and why the Titanic sank on that fateful night. Touchscreen computers allow you to look at the personalities on board the ship and in particular to discover the fate of the 123 Queenstown passengers.

Based in Cork, Titanic Experience Cobh is a permanent visitor centre open all year round. Facilities include; coach parking, wheelchair accessibility and Titanic merchandise shopping. The tour is also available in French, German, Spanish and Italian. Odell Collection of historic Titanic artefacts This year sees a new addition to Titanic Experience, Cobh’s

20 The Definitive guide to active retirement

permanent visitor attraction, with the acquisition of a number of artefacts from the maiden voyage for exhibition at the centre. Among the items on permanent display is a beautiful 20th century blue leather suitcase, purchased at Harrods for the journey on board Titanic. The suitcase was the personal property of Mrs Lily Odell, a first class passenger on board the ill-fated ship. Lily Odell travelled with


places to visit

some members of her family, including her son, Jack and sister in law, Kate and her two brothers, Richard and Stanley May. The Odell family party disembarked the Titanic at Queenstown, now Cobh, and collected a hire car from Johnson & Perrott Motors to travel around the south of Ireland. There are a number of photographs in the Odell collection also, including the original photo postcard showing Titanic survivors, Millvina Dean as a baby, with

her brother Bertram in a pram and their mother, Eva. Another photograph shows young Jack Odell, in a Star Laudaulette automobile hired from Johnson and Perrott with Mr May (Lily Odell’s brother) and their luggage. The exhibition was opened by Tommy Barker, property editor of the Irish Examiner and grandson and namesake of Thomas Barker, the Cork Examiner photographer who captured some of the best known images of RMS Titanic and her Irish

passengers while in Cobh. A hand painted and signed French silk lace and mother of pearl fan in its original silk covered box used on board the Titanic is also on loan to the collection by local historian, Vincent McMahon.

further information For more details please contact: info@titanicexperiencecobh.ie or visit our website www.titanicexperiencecobh.ie

Mizen Head

SIGNAL STATION

For all ages in any weather

The Harbour Road, Goleen West Cork, Ireland

T: 028 35225/35115

www.mizenhead.ie

Ireland’s Most Southwesterly point!

Open daily from: Mid March – October Weekends: November – Mid March

The Definitive guide to active retirement 21


places to visit

Chocolate

delights

V

isit the home of Ireland’s favourite luxury chocolates; the Butlers Chocolate Experience. Watch the chocolate movie and wander around the chocolate museum, learning about chocolate and discovering the history of Butlers from its foundation in 1932 to present day. Savour the aroma on the chocolate gallery as you view the Butlers factory and hear from the expert tour guide about the process of

chocolate, fudge and toffee production. Finally, visit the experience room – everyone’s favourite part of the tour! See up close the different stages of chocolate production and try your hand at being a chocolatier by decorating your own chocolate novelty to bring home. Butlers Chocolate

22 The Definitive guide to active retirement


places to visit

Discover a unique chocolate adventure at Butlers Chocolate Experience, where chocolate lovers of all ages can taste, learn and discover sweet delights...

The Definitive guide to active retirement 23


Experience is suitable for chocolate lovers of all ages, with plenty of chocolate tasting along the way. “The highlight, of the visit, was when we got the chance to decorate a chocolate teddy bear while enjoying a chocolate drink, all in all, we had a

very enjoyable visit at a reasonable cost� Butlers, cook with chocolate demo

Learn the essential techniques of cooking with chocolate with our chocolate demonstrator which lasts 2½ hours and see how eight signature chocolate

24 The Definitive guide to active retirement

Butlers offer special afternoon tea packages which are available on request recipes are brought to life. Recipes may include such chocolate delights as Butlers ultimate chocolate puddings, chocolate biscuit nut crunch & white chocolate ganache mousse. Enjoy tastings of everything made during


places to visit

Butlers Chocolate Experience: • I s fully accessible and can accommodate groups up to 50 • Open Monday to Saturday •O nsite Butlers Chocolate Café serving a range of chocolate treats and offering a 10% discount on chocolate purchases • Picnic area •C onvenient to Dublin Airport, the Port Tunnel and the M50

the demonstration and a refreshing glass of prosecco or refreshing hot beverage. Adult ticket €40.00 All visits to the Butlers Chocolate Experience must be booked in advance.

further information Book online at: www.butlerschocolates.com, email experience@butlers.ie or call Clare on (01) 6710599

enjoy a day at the races

special offer only e10pp

Active retirement groups

• Admission • Racecard • e2 Tote voucher

Applies to groups of 20+. Pre-booking essential. Offer applies to any of our 17 meetings.

For further information contact the team:

T: 046 902 1350 E: info@navanracecourse.ie

www.navanracecourse.ie The Definitive guide to active retirement 25


places to visit

Walk in the

footsteps of legends 26 The Definitive guide to active retirement


places to visit

The Croke Park stadium tour gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the stadium enabling you to experience the magic of match day

A

ttracting visitors from all over Ireland and around the globe, the Croke Park Stadium Tour offers an in-depth behind the scenes look at one of the most historic and modern sporting arenas in the world.

Immerse yourself in our sporting and cultural heritage. Visit the dressing rooms, walk pitchside via the players tunnel and take a seat in the VIP area. Our guides will take you to the Players Lounge, The Definitive guide to active retirement 27


places to visit

The Etihad Skyline tour offers spectacular panoramic views of Dublin from five viewing platforms on the roof of Croke Park and includes entry to the GAA Museum.

corporate suites and finally to the media centre on the top tier of the stadium where you will enjoy a spectacular bird’s eye view of Croke Park! Visit the recently refurbished GAA Museum which includes the GAA Hall of Fame, a modern-day heroes and legends gallery, eight exciting interactive skill

zones and dedicated sound booths showcasing clips from the association’s oral history archive. The GAA Museum celebrates the GAA’s enormous contribution to Irish sporting, cultural and social life since its foundation in 1884. Located under the Cusack Stand of GAA

28 The Definitive guide to active retirement

headquarters at Croke Park Stadium, the museum is open daily throughout the year. The museum traces the birth and growth of the GAA at home and abroad and its unique role in the national movement and cultural revival in Ireland and houses a vast collection – hurleys, jerseys, trophies, medals, programmes, publications and banners – illustrating the development of Gaelic


places to visit

games from ancient times to the present day. The Museum Café at Croke Park has a new look, new menus and offers a new experience. This vibrant café offers fantastic food, excellent service and comfortable surroundings. Delicious and tempting items are on offer on both the breakfast and lunch menu – lunch menus change daily. Choose from a wide range of delicious home made salads,

hot dishes and gourmet sandwiches made to order. Everything on the menu

is based on seasonal, fresh ingredients and all teas and coffees are ethically sourced.

furt her i n f o rmat i o n Special offers for OAPs: e6 p.p. on Mondays for the GAA Museum and stadium tour e20 p.p. for Etihad Skyline – includes entry to GAA Museum GAA Museum/Tour T: 01 819 2323 E: tours@crokepark.ie www.crokepark.ie/gaamuseum Etihad Skyline T: 01 819 2323 E: skyline@crokepark.ie www.skylinecrokepark.ie

4 Riverside Paradise Self-catering holiday home on the River Shannon The perfect getaway for up to 12 guests, who want privacy, freedom and luxury too

midweek specials from October/April Book 3 nights and get an extra night free!

Riverside Paradise is a Fáilté Ireland approved 4 star rated, stunning 6-bed, 5-bath, luxury self-catering house, with a private water front garden on the banks of the River Shannon – everything you need to relax, rest and retreat.We can tailor your stay to include art and

basket weaving workshops, Yoga and meditation, short local tours of castles and monastic sites. Local historian/story teller is available to come and visit your group. Our chef Adam can cook a 3-course meal for you one evening, from only e20 per/head.

Riverside Paradise, Esker, Banagher, Co. Galway T: 0862570297 E: peterdowney13@gmail.com www.riversideparadise.com The Definitive guide to active retirement 29


places to visit

Discounts and freebies Seniors throughout Ireland enjoy a variety of discounts and privileges – we’ve put together a list of some of Ireland’s finest visitor attractions that offer reduced prices to seniors – as well as ones that are free to visit. Embrace your age and enjoy the perks of being retired! Attraction Phone Number Location

Regular Price

Discounted Price

Adare Castle

061 396 666

Limerick

€6.00

€5.00

Ardfert Cathedral

066 713 4711

Kerry

€3.00

€2.00

Athenry Castle

091 844 797

Galway

€3.00

€2.00

Aughnanure Castle

091 552 214

Galway

€3.00

€2.00

Battle of the Boyne

041 980 9950

Meath

€4.00

€3.00

Boyle Abbey

071 966 2604

Roscommon

€3.00

€2.00

Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre

041 988 0300

Meath

€3.00

€2.00

Cahir Castle

052 744 1011

Tipperary

€3.00

€2.00

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

071 916 1534

Sligo

€3.00

€2.00

Casino Marino

01 833 1618

Dublin

€3.00

€2.00

Castletown House & Parklands

01 628 8252

Kildare

€4.50

€3.50

Céide Fields

096 43325

Mayo

€4.00

€3.00

Charles Fort

021 477 2263

Cork

€3.00

€2.00

Clonmacnoise

090 967 4195

Offaly

€6.00

€4.00

Derrynane House

066 947 5113

Kerry

€3.00

€2.00

Desmond Castle

021 477 4855

Cork

€3.00

€2.00

Donegal Castle

074 972 2405

Donegal

€4.00

€3.00

Dublin Castle

01 645 8813

Dublin

€4.50

€3.50

Dún Aonghasa

099 61008

Galway

€3.00

€2.00

Dunmore Cave

056 776 7726

Kilkenny

€3.00

€2.00

Emo Court

047 862 6573

Laois

€3.00

€2.00

Glebe House & Gallery

074 913 7071

Donegal

€3.00

€2.00

30 The Definitive guide to active retirement


places to visit

y at the Hill of

estin The Stone of D

Muckross House & Gardens

Tara

Newgrange

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

Glendalough Visitor Centre

040 445 352

Wicklow

€3.00

€2.00

Glenveagh Castle

074 913 7090

Donegal

€5.00

€3.00

Hill of Tara

046 902 5903

Meath

€3.00

€2.00

Ilnacullin (Garinish Island)

027 63040

Cork

€4.00

€3.00

Jerpoint Abbey

056 772 4623

Kilkenny

€3.00

€2.00

Kilkenny Castle

056 770 4100

Kilkenny

€6.00

€4.00

Kilmainham Gaol

01 453 5984

Dublin

€6.00

€4.00

Knowth

041 988 0300

Meath

€5.00

€3.00

Muckross Complete Package

066 667 0144

Kerry

€12.00

€10.00

Muckross House & Gardens

066 667 0144

Kerry

€7.00

€5.50

Muckross Traditional Farms

064 667 0165

Kerry

€7.50

€6.00

Newgrange

041 988 0300

Meath

€6.00

€5.00

Newgrange & Knowth

041 988 0300

Meath

€11.00

€8.00

Old Mellifont Abbey

041 982 6459

Louth

€3.00

€2.00

Parke’s Castle

071 916 4149

Leitrim

€3.00

€2.00

Patrick Pearse’s Cottage

091 574 292

Galway

€3.00

€2.00

Portumna Castle & Gardens

090 974 1658

Galway

€3.00

€2.00

The Definitive guide to active retirement 31


places to visit Rathcroghan Complete Package

071 963 9268

Roscommon

€8.00

€7.50

Rathcroghan Exhibition

071 963 9268

Roscommon

€5.00

€4.50

Rathcroghan Site Tour

071 963 9268

Roscommon

€5.00

€4.50

Reginald’s Tower

051 304 220

Waterford

€3.00

€2.00

Rock of Cashel

062 61437

Tipperary

€6.00

€4.00

Roscrea Castle & Damer House

050 521 850

Tipperary

€4.00

€3.00

Ross Castle

064 663 5851

Kerry

€4.00

€3.00

Sligo Abbey

071 914 6406

Sligo

€3.00

€2.00

Swiss Cottage

052 744 1144

Tipperary

€3.00

€2.00

The Blasket Centre

066 915 6444

Kerry

€4.00

€3.00

The JFK Arboretum

051 388 171

Wexford

€3.00

€2.00

Trim Castle

046 943 8619

Meath

€4.00

€3.00

Copper Coast Mini Farm

051 396 870

Waterford

€7.00

€5.50

Loftus Hall

051 397 728

Wexford

€9.00

€6.00

Bishop’s Palace

051 849 650

Waterford

€5.00

€4.00

House of Waterford Crystal

051 317 000

Waterford

€12.50

€9.50

Medieval Museum

051 849 501

Waterford

€5.00

€4.00

Attraction

Phone Number

Location

Altamont Gardens

059 915 9444

Carlow

Arbour Hill Cemetery

01 821 3021

Dublin

Ashtown Castle

01 677 0095

Dublin

Ballyhack Castle

051 389 468

Wexford

Barryscourt Castle

021 488 2218

Cork

Connemara National Park

095 41054

Galway

Coole Park

091 631 804

Galway

Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre

043 332 2386

Longford

Desmond Hall

069 77408

Limerick

Doneraile Wildlife Park

021 251 5965

Cork

Dromore Wood

065 682 2711

Clare

Dungarvan Castle

058 48144

Waterford

Dwyer McAllister Cottage

040 445 325

Wicklow

Ennis Friary

065 682 9100

Clare

Famine Warhouse

087 908 9972

Tipperary

Farmleigh House & Estate

01 815 5900

Dublin

FREE

32 The Definitive guide to active retirement

Papal Cross Phoenix Park

Ennis Friary


places to visit Ferns Castle

053 936 6411

Wexford

Fota Arboretum & Gardens

021 481 2728

Cork

Gallarus Oratory

064 663 2402

Kerry

Garden of Remembrance

01 821 3021

Dublin

Government Buildings

01 645 8813

Dublin

Grangegorman Military Cemetery

01 821 3021

Dublin

Heywood Gardens

057 873 3563

Laois

Killarney National Park

064 663 1440

Kerry

Kilmacurragh Arboretum

040 448 844

Wicklow

Listowel Castle

086 385 7201

Kerry

Loughcrew

049 854 1240

Meath

Lusk Heritage Centre

01 833 1618

Dublin

Maynooth Castle

01 628 6744

Kildare

National Botanic Gardens

01 857 0909

Dublin

Newmills Corn & Flax Mills

074 912 5115

Donegal

Ormond Castle

051 640 787

Tipperary

Pearse Museum & St. Edna’s Park

01 493 4208

Dublin

Phoenix Park

01 821 3021

Dublin

Rathfarnam Castle

01 493 9462

Dublin

Royal Hospital Kilmainham

01 612 9900

Dublin

Scattery Island Centre

065 682 9100

Clare

St. Audoen’s Church

01 677 0088

Dublin

St. Mary’s Abbey, Dublin

01 833 1618

Dublin

St. Mary’s Church, Gowran

056 772 6894

Kilkenny

St. Stephen’s Green

01 475 7816

Dublin

The Croppies Acre

01 702 8811

Dublin

The Iveagh Gardens

01 475 7816

Dublin

The Main Guard

052 612 7484

Tipperary

The Wexford Wildfowl Reserve

053 912 3406

Wexford

Tintern Abbey

051 562 650

Wexford

War Memorial Gardens

01 475 7816

Dublin

Wicklow Mountains National Park

040 445 656

Wicklow

Edmund Rice Heritage Centre

051 874 390

Waterford

Where?

How much?

Heritage Card €16 – usually €21

Rock of Cashel

Connemara

Killarney

What? Free entry to OPW Heritage sites for one year.

Copper Coast Mini Farm

The Definitive guide to active retirement 33


top 10 Best Places to Retire Abroad Are you thinking of retiring abroad? Retirement can be a great time to make a big move, or even purchase a vacation home. The following pages take you on a journey of our top 10 places to retire abroad

1st – Devon

R

etiring abroad, whether permanently or for just part of the year, is an increasingly popular choice, particularly among retirees from countries with ‘poor’ (cold, wet, etc.) climates and high taxes, such as Ireland. For many people, the dream of spending their golden years in pastures new has become an affordable option. Before deciding where, when or indeed, whether to retire abroad, it’s important to do your homework thoroughly and investigate the myriad implications and possibilities. Recognising and preparing for potential difficulties in advance is much easier than dealing with disappointment, or even a crisis, later on. However, if you do decide to take the plunge you will be in good company – millions of 34 The Definitive guide to active retirement

2nd – Dorset

3rd –London people have successfully retired abroad. As when making all major life decisions, it’s never advisable to be in too much of a hurry. Many people make expensive (even catastrophic) errors when retiring abroad, often because they don’t do sufficient research or


best place to retire

take into account the circumstances of their partners and family members.

For most people, the main advantage of retiring abroad is a more moderate climate. The advantages of living in a warmer climate usually result in an improved quality of life and often an increased life expectancy for retirees. A better climate also provides ample opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities, such as gardening, golf, tennis or walking, during your increased leisure time. Before planning to live abroad permanently, you must take into account many considerations. There are both advantages and disadvantages to retiring abroad, although for most people the benefits outweigh the pitfalls.

Finances

If you are considering moving to another country there are some key financial issues that need to be considered. Find out what effect retiring abroad will have on your pension, benefits and taxes. As a pensioner what are your rights if you move to another EU country? Pensioners on a fixed income need to be sure that all the financial aspects of becoming an expatriate have been taken into consideration. What else should you think about?

c Tax rates. How do tax rates compare and how will this impact on you? c General costs of living. The cost of food, eating out, clothes and so on. c Property prices. Many people are attracted by the prospect of cheaper property prices. c Healthcare. What is free and what you have to pay for and how much is it likely to cost.

Charm, elegance and luxury awaits... special offer 3 nights B&B plus 3 evening meals From only

â‚Ź195

per person sharing Quote: AR-0613 Royal Marine Hotel, Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

T: +353 (0)1 2300 030 E: reservation@royalmarine.ie W: www.royalmarine.ie

The Definitive guide to active retirement 35


Devon UK Devon is the perfect place for retirement with homes to suit everyone and a wide range of clubs and societies

Must see... Becky Falls Dartmoor’s famous Becky Falls offers stunning woodland and waterfall walks.

Dartington Crystal Watch carefully as craftsmen work together to transform hot molten crystal into elegant shapes.

Clovelly Village The historic fishing village of Clovelly is uniquely special in that it has no cars on its streets.

Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway A unique Victorian water powered lift, giving access to spectacular cliff top walks.

L

et’s start with some of the beautiful places to retire just over the pond in the UK. Devon was awarded the status of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1959, which means the beauty of the landscape is protected. The area is renowned for its Blue Flag beaches, plentiful activities and attractions and distinctive landscape, making Devon a popular retirement destination as well as a great location to purchase a second home. The county hosts a wide variety of gardens and houses, family activities, theatres and leisure facilities, including two championship golf courses at Saunton. For golfers, a second home in Devon is the ideal choice!

Homes for sale

GITTISHAM: Detached 3-bed bungalow with views. £299,995

Must do... A Devon traditional favourite – the cream tea! Whether you’re sat out in the sunshine or cosied in next to a roaring fire – a cream tea is the perfect treat! 36 The Definitive guide to active retirement

Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot, Devon: Well presented 3-bed bungalow. £299,950 www.rightmove.co.uk


dorset UK Dorset – a great retirement spot – with seaside prettiness, places to walk and so much to keep you busy during your golden years

Must see... Sherborne Castle Built in 1594 by Sir Walter Raleigh. Set in 40 acres of landscaped gardens and grounds.

The Tank Museum The world’s finest collection of armoured fighting vehicles, from World War I tanks to the latest main battle tank.

Monkey World A sanctuary that’s home to more than 240 rescued and endangered primates.

Dancing Ledge Large flat ledge and pool at the base of Jurassic Coast cliffs near Swanage.

D

orchester and Christchurch are two of the most popular retirement destinations in the county of Dorset in south west England. Admire the distinctive beauty of the puddingbasin hills of Dorset and spectacular South West Coast Path along the Jurassic Coast. Keen walkers will love Dorchester and its surrounding area, which can be easily reached by train from London, while foodies will be enchanted by the town’s magnificent Wednesday market. For a picturesque seaside life, look no further than Christchurch with its lovely high street full of little shops, and a food and wine festival in May. The town sits at the meeting of the Rivers Stour and Avon, with a great beach for the grandchildren to build sandcastles on!

Homes for sale

Dorchester: 3-bed thatched bungalow on approx ½ acre site. £285,000

Must do... Visit Abbotsbury Swannery – the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans.

Verwood: 2-bed retirement bungalow (over 60’s). Emergency pull cord system. £174,950 www.rightmove.co.uk


Must see... Science Museum Over 15,000 objects on display and interactive galleries.

HM Tower of London Discover the Crown Jewels, join a Beefeater on a tour to hear their bloody tales and stand where famous heads have rolled.

London Bus Tours

london UK Retiring doesn’t have to mean cocoa and early nights – some retirees want the buzz and bright lights of life in the City – shops, cafés, taxis cruising past and restaurants on the doorstep!

Q

uiet villages and seaside towns aren’t for everyone, and many wish to retire to a city with a vibrant cultural scene. London may be an expensive option, with the average annual household income required for the duration of your retirement is a substantial £34,855, but the attractions cannot be denied either! London is becoming a wonderful place for older people, with top class medical care, free public transport for OAPs – not to mention being one of the cultural and entertainment capitals of the world! If you’re thinking of retiring in London or purchasing a second home, you can be safe in the knowledge that you will never be short of something to do.

Sit back, relax and take in the sights on a London bus tour.

London Dungeon An amazing cast of theatrical actors, special effects, stages, scenes and rides – a truly unique walkthrough experience that you see, hear, touch, smell and feel.

Homes for sale

Twickenham: Retirement apartments. Safety and security come as standard. £399,950

Must do... Take a ride on the EDF Energy London Eye which offers unrivalled views of London and provides a unique and magical way to experience the UK’s capital city. 38 The Definitive guide to active retirement

Richmond: 2 double bed apartment in gated development for the over 55’s. £349,950

www.primelocation.com


Calitri italy A land of eternal fascination and beauty, quickly becoming one of the most popular locations for retirement, due to its climate and weather

Must see... Laghi di Monticchio A stunning location in the heart of the Mount Vulture region situated on the crater of an extinct volcano.

Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi This small village is a jewel and the Cathedral and the Febbronia Tower heighten its beauty.

Church of the Annunciation It has an artistic stone portal with lunette and several 18th-century paintings by Cavallino.

Ceramics Museum Inside the very beautiful Borgo Castello with samples of Calitrian ceramics, dating from antiquity to modern times.

T

he Mediterranean lifestyle is an attractive one! You can opt for sun, sea, sand or the stunning Italian Alps. The food is healthy, with a focus on locally-produced fruit and vegetables and plenty of freshly caught fish. One of the most popular retirement towns in Italy is Calitri, situated in the southern region of Campania. Calitri is home to the beautiful traditional architecture and delectable food and wine typical of the Italian south and has the benefit of relatively cheap housing. In fact, we found a 3 bedroom villa in Calitri fully-restored and complete with balcony and wine grotto for just â‚Ź45,000. The town itself is surrounded by rolling hills and lush forests. The icing on the cake? European citizens moving to Calitri can avail of free healthcare!

Homes for sale

Avellino: 1-bed, 1-bath restored ancient wine cave. e35,000

Must do... If you ever wanted to know more about wine making, then a tour to the Mount Vulture Vineyard is a must

Avellino: 3-bed, 2-bath villa with balcony panoramic view and 2 garages. e120,000 www.gate-away.com


Must see... Eiffel Tower Like all towers, it allows us to see and to be seen, with a spectacular ascent, a unique panoramic view of Paris, and a glittering beacon in the skies of the Capital.

France There is a climate to suit everyone in this top retirement destination!

Lourdes A place of universal meeting and sharing, prayer and celebration of life, visited by more than five million pilgrims from all over the world every year.

Grasse A beautiful French town – the birthplace of the world’s perfume industry – surrounded by rolling fields of lavender, jasmine, mimosa, orange blossom and violets.

T

he south of France, home to beautiful towns like Nice and Cannes, has a Mediterranean climate, with immaculate beaches and great regional cooking. As for the north and northwest, you have mild winters, warm summers and abundant rain. The central and eastern regions of France have cold winters, warm summer months and breath-taking storms between seasons. If the weather isn’t enough to draw you to French shores, consider a world-class healthcare system where the state foots 85% of all medical bills and easy accessibility for visiting family and friends. With 450 airports and wellmaintained road and rail networks, you can reach and explore France with ease and often for a very low cost.

Homes for sale

Brittany: 4 bedroomed renovated Manoir with stream, natural pond, paddock, well and bread oven e221,500 www.ahouseinbrittany.com

Must do... Visit Mont Saint Michel – a mediaeval walled city, crowned by its great gothic abbey and one of the few places in France to have preserved intact its historic walls and defences. 40 The Definitive guide to active retirement

Normandy: Charming 2 bedroom cottage in excellent condition. e81,250 www.countryhomesfrance.co.uk


Must see... The Montgo National park A major landmark of Denia home to a variety of species, which are unique to this ecosystem.

Safari Park Vergal Slightly inland from Denia with145 species of animals, including lions, Bengal tigers, yaks, elephants and many exotic birds.

Isla Tabarca The island is little more than a mile long, 437 yards wide and car free.

La Mere de DĂŠu del Consol

Spain Spain has long been a popular retirement destination, especially for those who love the sunshine

W

ith vibrant cities like Madrid and Barcelona, the fabled Costa del Sol and Portugal just over the border, there really is a corner of Spain for every retiree. Spain boasts a fantastic mix of attractions, from snowy mountains, a stunning Mediterranean coast, ancient hilltop towns and delicious regional cuisine. The Costa Blanca has lovely beaches and starts in the north with the towns of Denia and Javea. Entertainment can be found at Benidorm. Others are smaller towns and villages like Villajoyosa just south of Benidorm, famous for its old town and its chocolate. In the south the costa blanca goes down to Guardamar and Torrevieja. With such cities like Elche, the palm tree capital of the world.

Striking blue ceramic-tiled domed church in the old fishing village of Altea, one of the best conserved towns on the Costa Blanca.

Homes for sale

Javea: 2 bed/2 bath ground floor apartment in secure gated complex. 5 mins walk of amenities with private front/rear gardens. e149,000 www.gileswalkerproperties.com

Must do... La Villajoyosa – The Chocolate City – take a tour and find out the history and how the best chocolate is made. Discover a wide assortment of chocolates elaborated by chocolate masters.

calpe: Single level three bed house within walking distance of Calpe centre. e199,000 www.inmocostablanca.com


Malta If the Mediterranean lifestyle appeals to you, but you don’t fancy the hassle of learning a new language, one of the charming islands of Malta could be your perfect fit

Must see... Museum of Fine Arts An exuberant Rococo building dating from the 1570’s, exhibits some magnificent art, ranging from the early Renaissance to modern times.

Sea Excursions There is no better way to appreciate the beauty of the Maltese coastline than from the vantage point of a boat.

Mdina Lamp lit by night and referred to as ‘the silent city’, Mdina is fascinating to visit for its timeless atmosphere, cultural and religious treasures. Don’t miss the renowned chocolate cake at Fontanella Tea rooms.

C

apital Valletta strikes just the right balance between bustling and laidback, with architecture that will blow you away, while there are dozens of peaceful coastal towns for you to choose from if you prefer the quiet life. Sunshine is abundant and the islands boast a varied cuisine of Italian, Spanish, French and North African influences. Besides the excellent climate, magnificent scenery, warm and friendly people, rich history, retiring in Malta is easy and affordable and there is a very low crime rate. The health care system in Malta is top class backed up by highly qualified doctors and professional support staff and everybody in Malta speaks English.

Homes for sale

GOZO: Luxury apartment with terrace overlooking the pool, gardens and open sea views e174,434 www.lifestyle-properties-malta.com

Must do... Dominating Palace Square in Valletta, the Grand Master’s Palace is the house of government in Malta. When parliament is not in session you can visit the palace for free. 42 The Definitive guide to active retirement

ZEBBUG: Converted house of character enjoying numerous original features. e300,000 www.simonmamo.com


Must see... Kronborg Castle Known all over the world from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, it is also the most famous castle in Denmark.

Walks in Copenhagen History Tours arranges guided walking tours and events in Copenhagen.

Cisternerne, Søndermarken

denmark A recent university study found that Denmark has the highest life satisfaction ratings, not just in Europe, but in the world

D

enmark’s healthcare system makes it a retirement favourite. Its capital city Copenhagen is a vibrant, colourful spot, but expect to fork out for property and high living costs. However, the city is packed with art and culture and you can always escape the city for nearby outdoor activities. Denmark has double taxation agreements with a number of countries and if covered by one of these you will not be charged twice on your income, including your pension. if you are sensible and follow local habits and are a little economical – such as cycling and eating at home – then living costs in Denmark should not blow your budget. Denmark has a relatively mild climate with no extremes of heat or cold.

An underground museum featuring modern glass art from Denmark and around the world.

Copenhagen Opera House This stunning building is worth a visit in itself and dominates the waterfront across from Amalienborg Palace.

Homes for sale

Kristiansholmsvej 33 4262 Sandved: 3 bed house set in a wood. 5-10 min. walk to beach and forest. e397,714

Must do... Tivoli Gardens – a cultural wonderland and historical gem right at the heart of Copenhagen. Its mix of attractions, performances and culture make it a treat for all ages.

Hyldevej 51 3100 Hornbæk: Totally renovated with new furniture. Architect designed 2bed cottage. e535,873 www.danishhomes.com


Must see... Stanz 90 licensed distillers produce first rate Schnapps in 54 distilleries Guided tours are available to see and taste the award-winning Schnapps varieties.

Ambras Castle

austria Austria is a popular place to retire, attracting those who wish to live amongst pristine wilderness. Most retirees fall in love with the slower and more traditional Austrian culture

F

or those of you trying to decide between city and country life, Austria, which shares its borders with Germany, Italy and Switzerland (to name a few), is a natural choice. You are never far from stunning Alpine scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities, but can nevertheless enjoy the buzz of a European city such as Vienna or Salzburg without the steep price tags of London and Paris. German is spoken by 98% of the Austrian population. English is by far the leading second language and is understood widely and spoken fluently by most people working within the tourism industry. The climate is moderate and generally agreeable, with warm summers and cold winters.

High in the hills above Innsbruck, one of the most important sights in the city houses some of the most important cultural works in the country.

Open-Air Museum Stßbing Austria’s rural history comes alive at one of the largest open-air museums in Europe. Beautiful pastoral landscapes and more than 100 historic farm buildings from all over Austria

Homes for sale

Semmering: A former hunting and coaching inn, with spacious rooms. Located in country and woodland area. e117,000

Must do... Travel back in time to the 800 year old city centre of Innsbruck. A classic hybrid of Gothic and Baroque, the Old Town exudes a special charm and sophistication that is unique in the Alps. 44 The Definitive guide to active retirement

Eggenburg: 2 bed 14 Century, refurbished old schloss. e295,000 www.amazingaustria.com


Must see... Cruise Enjoy a Croatian cruise aboard a historical galleon, a pirate-style sailing ship that offers the best way to discover the Elafiti Islands and Green Islands.

Konavle Valley Croatia’s southernmost tip offers traditional family-run wineries where you can meet local winemakers and sample wines.

croatia Croatia’s low cost of living and wealth of stunning natural beauty makes it a real up and coming retirement and tourist destination

M

ore and more people are making the decision to retire in Croatia – and the reasons are obvious – stunning island sceneries, crystal blue waters and abundant sunshine. This spot is not only picturesque and affordable, but has also been named one of the safest for travellers and residents. Dubrovnik is a city without having that ‘big city’ feel – its relaxed pace of life, stunning coastal scenery and rich culture make it an ideal place to spend your golden years. The legendary Frenchman Jacques Cousteau, esteemed biologist and oceanographer, once described Croatia’s waters as the cleanest and clearest in the world.

Pula Arena A rare example among the 200 Roman surviving amphitheatres. The Arena is the only remaining Roman amphitheatre to have four side towers and all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved.

Homes for sale

Sumartin, Split-Dalmatia: Nicely designed and newly built apartment, located in Sumartin on the island of Brac. e149,500

Must do... A UNESCO World Heritage Site Dubrovnik’s Old Town offers highlights such as Orlando’s Column and Rector’s Palace – explore the ancient city walls and see Fort Revelin and Minceta Tower.

Racisce, Korcula: A beautiful fully renovated sea front stone house located few meters from the beach and sea. e450,000 www.primelocation.com


health & wellbeing

The silent disease Osteoporosis No one wants to lose their independence and this is why being active and taking care of your bones is essential...

O

steoporosis the most common form of bone disease and affects both men and women and even the young. Osteoporosis basically means porous bones. Bone is a living tissue that is constantly being removed and replaced. Bones need normal sex hormones, calcium, vitamin D, proteins and weight bearing/ strengthening exercise to keep them healthy. As we get older, more bone is naturally lost than is replaced, but people with Osteoporosis lose more bone than people who do not have the disease. Osteoporosis causes the insides of bone to become fragile and therefore break easily. Osteoporosis is a silent

disease which is preventable and treatable in the majority of people, however, without prevention or treatment, osteoporosis can progress causing pain, disability and loss of independence. Only 15% of people are actually diagnosed, are you one of the 85% who have not been diagnosed? Many people think that osteoporosis only affects older women, and the only cause is the menopause, however this is not the case, there are over 60 causes of osteoporosis. One in four men and one in two women over 50 will break bones due to osteoporosis, â‚Ź402 million was spent in 2010 just on falls and fractures in senior citizens.

46 The Definitive guide to active retirement


health & wellbeing

Osteoporosis Statistics • 2 0% of Irish people aged 60+ who fracture a hip will die within 6-12 months. • 5 0% of Irish people aged 60+ who fracture a hip, will not be able to wash, dress or walk across a room unaided. nly 30% of Irish people aged 60+ who fracture a hip, will • O regain their independence. • One fractured hip in total costs e55,000. • A DXA scan for Osteoporosis costs approximately e100. • 90% of hip fractures are due to Osteoporosis • E very 30 seconds there is a fracture in the EU due to Osteoporosis

Exercise can play an important part in helping to reduce your risk of Osteopenia/ Osteoporosis and it is also an important aspect of treatment

This cost is estimated to increase to €1 billion a year within the next seven years, unless promoting prevention and earlier detection is increased. Signs and symptoms of possible undiagnosed Osteoporosis

broken bone caused by a • A trip and fall from a standing position or less: It is not normal to break a bone at any age from a trip and fall. If a person’s bones are healthy they should not break so easily. With severe undiagnosed Osteoporosis, a person can cough, sneeze or turn over in bed and break a bone.

• L oss of height: Many people believe that it is normal to lose height as you get older. However, if a person loses more than two centimetres, it is a red flag that they should get a DXA scan to rule out Osteoporosis. • A hump developing on the upper back or a persons head protruding forward from their body: If it is from osteoporosis, the bones in the spine are collapsing and will continue to collapse unless prevention/treatment is put in place. • Sudden, severe episodes of upper, middle or low back pain: This could be a sign that a fracture has occurred,

The Definitive guide to active retirement 47


health & wellbeing Many medications can cause bone loss especially if the person has any of the signs or symptoms mentioned previously. What is Osteopenia?

Osteopenia is the early stages • of Osteoporosis and can develop into Osteoporosis unless prevention methods are put in place. Research shows that the majority of broken bones occur in the moderate • to marked osteopenia range. Who is at risk of developing Osteoporosis?

There are many reasons why a person can develop osteoporosis. Below is a list of some of the risk factors.

You will notice that some of these are other diseases, some are treatments used to treat other diseases and some are secondary effects of a disease or lifestyle choices. Family history: 80% of your bone is due to genetics therefore genetics is a strong risk factor especially, if there is a history of a hip fracture. Eating disorders: Past or present history of anorexia and/or bulimia Gastrointestinal disorders: such as Coeliac, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis or Primary Biliary Cirrhosis. Rheumatoid Arthritis: the disease itself and steroid treatments.

Why is it called the silent disease? Osteoporosis is known as the silent disease because people with osteoporosis cannot feel their bones getting weaker. Typically the first sign/ symptom that a person may already have osteoporosis is a broken bone from a trip and fall. Unfortunately many people are not diagnosed even after multiple broken bones, this is why everyone has to be proactive about checking to see if they have risk factors.

The affects of undiagnosed Osteoporosis, at any age 48 The Definitive guide to active retirement


health & wellbeing

Misconceptions... The most common bones to break are the wrist, hip and bones in the spine, however it can affect any bone. One of the many misconceptions is that if a person eats a healthy diet and exercises, that they will not develop osteoporosis. The people in the picture above are NOT actors. The male on the far right is an Olympic and World (multiple) rifle shooting champion, who has reversed his bones back to normal. The youngest person was diagnosed at 19 with the bones of an 84-year-old, she has reversed her bones back to normal. Osteoporosis is reversible in certain cases, however the earlier a person is diagnosed, the better the results.

• E ndocrine disorders: such as high levels of Prolactin, cortisol or Thyroid hormone problems. • Asthma • Diabetes • Turner’s Syndrome • Klinefelter’s Syndrome • Haemochromatosis • Bone Marrow Disorders • Connective Tissue Disease • Multiple Sclerosis • Parkinson’s disease Treatments that cause bone loss

• C hemotherapy or Radiation: Any adult or child who has received or who will be

• • • • • • •

receiving either of these should have a DXA scan and be treated preventively. Aromatase inhibitors for the treatment of breast and prostate cancer. Corticosteroids: such as prednisolone, prednisone or cortisone Some Anticonvulsants Post-organ transplant therapy Diuretics such as Lasix can increase calcium loss Chronic Heparin or Warfarin Antipsychotic medications such as long term Lithium Therapy

Lifestyle factors that can cause bone loss

• E xcessive physiological or psychological stress • Low body weight. If you are unsure if you are underweight for your height, check with your doctor or a dietician • Lack of regular weight bearing exercise • Diet: Low daily intake of Calcium and/or Vitamin D. Intolerance to dairy products or vegetarians/vegans who do not take the daily amount of Calcium, Vitamin D and protein. (Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements are

The Definitive guide to active retirement 49


Secondary effects that can cause bone loss Those who are wheelchair, bed bound or who have impaired mobility for six weeks or longer, especially in childhood or senior citizens. Example: Cerebral Palsy, amputees or those who have had a stroke (CVA)

available for those who can not get the required amounts from food.) • Smoking • Alcohol. Women who regularly consume more than 14 units of alcohol per week and men who regularly consume more than 21 units of alcohol per week are at higher risk. Additional risk factors for women

The most common cause in women is Oestrogen deficiency. This may be due to a variety of causes: • All women who have gone through the Menopause, particularly those who have experienced premature

menopause which is before 45 years. • Natural or surgical menopause i.e. – ovary/ovaries removed/ hysterectomy • Endometriosis • Loss of periods not due to pregnancy – example: Anorexia and/or Bulimia, over training or constant dieting. Additional risk factors for men

The most common cause in men is testosterone deficiency (Hypogonadism). Symptoms of this include loss of sex drive, loss of erections, depression, and/or fatigue.

50 The Definitive guide to active retirement

If you have one or more risk factors, we recommend that you speak to your Doctor about the possibility of a DXA scan. Based on your results, you can then help prevent its onset or if you have osteopenia/osteoporosis, you can prevent further deterioration, reduce your risk of fracture and possible loss of independence. Diagnosis of Osteoporosis A DXA scan is a simple, painless test that takes approximate 15 minutes and is not claustrophobic. A DXA scan of the spine and hips is the only test


health & wellbeing

the Irish Osteoporosis Society recommends for the diagnosis of osteoporosis. The IOS does not recommend heel scans for the diagnosis of osteoporosis. It is essential that all cause/s are found and addressed when a person is first diagnosed. Treatment of Osteoporosis

There are many treatments for osteoporosis and it is important that you speak to your doctor about a treatment plan that is right for you. A treatment plan should be based on: • Your risk of fracture or re-fracture

• Y our DXA results of spine and hips • The cause(s) of why you developed it. • Your age • Your medical history Fall prevention and Osteoporosis

Reducing your risk of falling and preventing or treating osteoporosis will help you maintain your independence. People work their whole life looking forward to retirement. All it can take is one fall that can prevent a person from enjoying their golden years. Most falls happen in the home, therefore making your home

environment safe is essential. Undiagnosed osteoporosis leads to broken bones which can lead to loss of independence. Since only 15% of people with osteoporosis are diagnosed, the risk of a senior citizen having undiagnosed osteoporosis is very high. Fall prevention is linked to osteoporosis because of the high risk of broken bones from a fall. The rate of hip fractures among residents living in nursing homes is between 3-11 times higher that those who live in the community, this is why ‘hip protectors’ are essential to help decrease the risk of hip fractures in this group.

About 15-20 minutes of sunlight a day, during the summer months will enable the body to store vitamin D

The Definitive guide to active retirement 51


health & wellbeing

• F rom age 70 and older, a person is 25 times more likely to sustain a hip fracture. • Between the ages of 65 to 74, 62% of accidents are related to people falling. • 82% of accidents to people over the age of 75 are fall related. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is critical for calcium absorption, as it increases the body’s ability to absorb calcium by 3080%. There is a world wide Vitamin D deficiency and low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to not only Osteoporosis but multiple forms of Cancer, TB and Multiple Sclerosis. The most important source of vitamin D is from the action of sunlight on the skin. However, it is very important to avoid over-exposure resulting in

sunburn, as we are all aware of the damaging effects of the sun, especially in terms of skin cancer. Vitamin D can also be found in fish oils and species of fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, halibut and herring. Many milk products and margarines are fortified with vitamin D, but check labels for specific nutrient information. Breakfast cereals, soya milk and rice milk may also be fortified with vitamin D. Again, please refer to the individual brand labels for nutrient information. Calcium

Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in our bones and helps to give strength and rigidity. Every cell in our body, including those in the heart, nerves and muscles relies on calcium.

52 The Definitive guide to active retirement

Calcium can be found in milk, cheese and yoghurt to name a few. Fortified milks have calcium and vitamin D, please check labels for amounts. Note: Calcium alone is not enough to treat bone loss and is not a substitute for drug therapies that treat bone loss. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. Prevention of Osteoporosis

Calcium, Vitamin D3 and appropriate weight bearing exercise, all help to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. Note: Substantial clinical evidence demonstrates that low calcium and vitamin D intake or poor absorption are linked to an increased risk of hip fractures in senior citizens.

further information The Irish Osteoporosis Society Charity 114 Pembroke Road, Garden Level Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. T: Lo-call 1890 252751 T: 01 637 5050 E: info@irishosteoporosis.ie. W: www.irishosteoporosis.ie



health & wellbeing

The right equipment can

transform people’s lives...

Care in the community aims to keep individuals cared for in their own homes for as long as possible with a range of services and equipment available to enable people to lead the life they would prefer.

I

t is often difficult to understand what aids are available to a person with a disability or indeed predict when someone will require equipment that will assist with their everyday life. According to Sharon Treacy – Retail Sales Manager at Homecare Medical Supplies, many people are unaware of the wide range of products now available to assist people in their daily lives. “We offer a wide selection of products to help our customers live a better quality of life every day. We encourage our customers or their carers to visit us to see in person the new products that are available or indeed have the staff at Homecare suggest items that may make our customer’s lives easier.” Homecare Medical Supplies extensive range

of aids daily living include smaller items such as such as dressing and bathing aids, equipment to help with household chores and walking aids to help with general mobility. Homecare also supplies more substantial pieces of equipment such as starilifts, riser recliners, motorised scooters, wheelchairs and bath lifters. “For all of these items it is important that it fits in with person’s abilities, and their home in order to promote their independence and enhance their daily life,” said Sharon. Having the right equipment can make a real difference to the everyday lives of people with long standing disabilities, newly acquired disabilities or slowing down due to the old age. “At Homecare Medical Supplies we are here to help you care. Our staff are more than happy to spend time with our customers and provide expert knowledge and advice to help them choose the right product for their needs.” “We are delighted to announce that in addition to our stores in Galway, Ballyhaunis and Castlebar, we have recently opened new retail stores in Williamsons Mall, Dundalk Co. Louth; Drumlee Road, Cavan, Co Cavan; Vicars Road Togher, Co. Cork and Ashe Street, Tralee Co.Kerry. Opening hours from 10am to 6pm six days a week.

further information Check out our full range of products on www.homecaremedicalsupplies. ie or phone 1890 290 390

54 The Definitive guide to active retirement



health & wellbeing

Planning key for

happy

retirement

Peter Kavanagh from Active Retirement Ireland advises on the importance of planning for your retirement

G

eorge is happily retired at age 73. It’s taken him quite a few years to reach this happy state, but he’s contented being a selfdescribed ‘man of leisure’ at

last. “Retirement came as quite a shock to me,” he says, “as a professional I automatically had purpose and drive right up until the day I finally decided to retire. I had put it off for four or five years but when I finally took the plunge, I wasn’t expecting such a drastic change. I never realised how much of my social life was made up entirely by my professional life. For a few years I just took public transport every day. I wasn’t going anywhere; I just wanted somebody to talk to.” While it may be upsetting, George’s story is not unique. Many

older people, especially older men, have severe difficulties adjusting to retirement. The culture shock of not having to work each day can have sudden and immediate effects. Loneliness and isolation aren’t the only big risks, either. The Harvard School of Public Health found that retired older people were 40 per cent more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those still in employment for


Social interaction is the key

the first year of retirement. While leisure time has been universally accepted to be beneficial to health, it appears that a sudden exposure to too much leisure time can be detrimental, even deadly. The importance of planning for retirement

This underscores the importance of planning for retirement, a habit not prevalent in Irish society. While financial planning

Whether in large clubs or small groups, social interaction can be the difference between the despair loneliness and isolation, and a healthy and active retirement. For George, at least, the difference is striking. “Just a few years ago, I really didn’t know what I was going to do. It seemed like retirement was a prison sentence,” he says, “This week, however, I’m in Kerry playing bowls at a national competition organised by Active Retirement Ireland and next week I’m up at the crack of dawn for the Bealtaine Dawn Chorus. Had I known there was this much to do, I’d have retired years earlier!”

The Definitive guide to active retirement 57


health & wellbeing

for CEOs and company directors is available from all the state-supported banks, little care is given to the wellbeing of ordinary workers as they approach retirement; and almost no attention is paid to the mental and psychological well-being of the almost and recently retired. The Retirement Planning Council, a not-for-profit organisation based in Dublin, provide pre-retirement courses for hundreds of

public, semi-state and private companies, but this is just a drop in the ocean of Ireland’s roughly 170,000 registered businesses. So what makes retirement such a burden for so many older people? The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, based in NUI Galway, found that older people who are socially engaged and active in their communities lead healthier lives. This concept of ‘health production’, or older people creating their own good mental and physical health, is evident in the volunteer spirit seen in Ireland’s community groups, ICA guilds, Tidy Towns committees, Active Retirement Associations and GAA clubs, to name but a few. The ICSG interviewed older volunteers and found

58 The Definitive guide to active retirement

that 52 per cent of socially active older people feel they have ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ health, compared to 40 per cent of the population at large. Four key components to a happy ‘third age’ of life When researchers in the USA asked study participants 80 and older what made retirements


health & wellbeing

enjoyable, healthy and rewarding, four key elements emerged: social networks, play, creativity and lifelong learning. These were seen by those enjoying their retirements as the key components to a healthy and satisfying ‘third age’ of life. For many, in particular those who have no great desire to join a large group so soon after retirement, the only barrier is access to these four key components. Ciarán McKinney, Director of Development for Age and Opportunity, has worked

on one possible avenue for older people to enjoy their retirement. “We heard during the Bealtaine Arts Festival of 2011 that there were older people who would love to take part in local cultural events but they didn’t have someone to go with, so we started ‘Cultural Companions’, says McKinney, “Because we facilitate local networking it’s ideal for people who don’t want to join groups; you can meet up with one or two people from your area and arrange to go to things together, or you can come along

to the events we organise and meet new friends and take it from there. For some people it’s been a lifeline.”

further information Peter Kavanagh works with Active Retirement Ireland, Ireland’s largest community-based older people’s organisation. For information on your local group, call us on 01 873 3836 or visit www.activeirl.ie


health & wellbeing

Tips for an

active retirement

Keeping healthy and positive in your retirement is vital, and easier than you may think... by Gemma Swansburg

M

aintaining good health is important for all of us, at any age. With robust health, energy and mobility, you are physically free to pick virtually any activity or lifestyle you choose. There is no need for special diet secrets or exercise plans. Simply maintain a balanced diet, exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes, avoid unnecessary stress, get enough sleep and schedule regular medical check-ups. With this routine and lifestyle you are well on your way to maintaining great health. Age doesn’t have to be a barrier to great physical

accomplishments. 102year-old Fauja Singh from England has completed eight marathons – including five London marathons. Do you know what age he decided to take up running? At the youthful age of 81! Fauja took up longdistance running to give himself a new purpose and challenge in life. He even appeared in an Adidas advert with David Beckham, donating his appearance fees to charity. Fauja is the world record-holder for the oldest male marathon runner, having finished the Toronto Marathon of 2003 in five hours and 40 minutes, aged

60 The Definitive guide to active retirement

92. Jenny Wood-Allen is the oldest woman, having completed the London Marathon in 2002 at the age of 90, with a time of 11 hours, 34 minutes. Of course, you do not have to run marathons! Pick any exercise that sufficiently raises your heartbeat and keeps your limbs moving. It’s an excellent idea to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ by picking an exercise routine that also includes a social activity. Ballroom dancing is considered one of the best physical and social activities for senior citizens. You’ll meet new people, have a laugh, stretch your limbs, exercise


health & wellbeing

your mind by remembering routines and can derive great satisfaction from the end result, not to mention impressing everyone around you with your new skills! Voluntary or part-time work

It is a natural human desire to seek a positive sense of self-worth and purpose. A job can often provide this sense of identity, purpose and daily routine. It is not uncommon for new and active retirees to feel a deep sense of loss, lack of motivation and even mild depression when they finish working. Part-time or voluntary work might be a great replacement for this void. Many organisations and groups are staffed with retired employees whose work principles, extensive experience and reliability are very much appreciated and respected. In addition, performing voluntary work for a favourite charity can provide enormous spiritual rewards and satisfaction. There are several ways of seeking out this kind of work. The internet is one of your best resources. Simply The Definitive guide to active retirement 61


health & wellbeing

do a Google search for volunteering organisations in your area. Volunteer Ireland may have a centre in your area. You can call 01 6369446 to find out, or email them through their website: www.volunteer.ie. Go back to school

My retired family doctor and his wife are in their nineties and they are just about to complete their third diploma course since retiring. They are currently studying geography, which involves field trips up mountains and around lakes with fellow students who are 70 or more years younger! Courses at local

community colleges are usually reasonably priced, even free or highly subsidised by the government. Your local library, higher education college, or again, the internet, can be an excellent source of further information. Visit www.coursera.org for free courses from some of the world’s best universities. You can take any subject from writing to archaeology and meet people from all over the world! Get online

Learning how to use the internet is relatively simple, and many community colleges will offer beginner

62 The Definitive guide to active retirement

courses. These days, the price of computers and internet access is getting cheaper and cheaper. In addition, there are many libraries and coffee shops that offer free internet access, so it really is easier to get online. The internet can be a fantastic tool for entertainment, information, socialising and education. News from all parts of the globe, videos, music and online books are all just a click away, and you can also keep up regular contact with family and other loved ones who may live too far away for frequent face-to-face contact. As an active retirement resource, the internet is second to none. There are a slew of websites, forums, discussion groups and blogs dedicated to active retirement with tips on retirement planning, offers and activities. There are even ways of earning additional income online, such as selling on eBay and taking part in paid surveys. Life after retirement is not about your age. It is about your emotional, physical and mental state. So shun away your worries about growing old, seize retirement with both hands and let your new life begin!


health & wellbeing

Ageing gracefully There is no reason to dread growing older. It happens to everyone! Luckily, as time goes on, we have developed many ways of making ageing easier...

I

nnovation in medicine and the wealth of information available to us, especially online, have contributed to making older life much more active and enjoyable. Here are a few ‘graceful ageing’ tips

to help you cope with ageing in a positive, capable manner. Skin care

Do not leave the house without your sunscreen. The UV rays from the sun can

severely damage your skin and is a major contributor to how your face ages. A sun hat will also protect the delicate skin on your face. Too much exposure to the sun can contribute to some cancers, so be certain to wear sunscreen every day. For ladies, skip the heavy make-up and powders every now and then. Although they make us look lovely in the short term, they also contribute to the ageing of your skin. Cosmetics can harm the skins ability to hydrate and maintain elasticity. Give your skin a break every now and then, and take a few days off a week from foundation, powder and heavy eye make-up. Take care of your skin with a daily routine including moisturising and cleansing day and night. Buy a fashionable pair of sunglasses and wear them!

The Definitive guide to active retirement 63


health & wellbeing

If animals bring you happiness, adopt a small dog or cat to keep you company. Even small dogs needs exercise – regular walking will be good for both of you. You can do a great deal of good for a rescue pet by giving them their loving forever home.

You’ll find great deals on designer sunglasses at outlet stores such as TK Maxx. Wearing a beautiful pair of sunnies can help you look younger, but by far the biggest benefit is the protection they give your eyes and skin from UV rays.

and many cancers. Talk with your doctor about how many calories you should be eating a day, taking into consideration your age, weight and fitness level, and then stick to it. A food diary is an excellent way of keeping track.

Calories

Socialise

Watch your calorie intake! Overeating and obesity are linked with more health problems than we could possibly list here – but include heart disease, strokes

Your home is your castle. Fill it with the things that you love. If you love to be around your family, organise gettogethers as often as possible. As you grow older, it’s

64 The Definitive guide to active retirement

more important than ever to surround yourself with people that make you happy, lift you up and never bring you down. Why not have a regular Sunday dinner with the whole family where everyone is involved with the cooking process, or tea with your close friends, sharing good times and memories with your favourite people. Keep your friendships strong and the ageing process will be one of enjoyment. By working at these friendships, you are keeping active and


health & wellbeing

engaged and maintaining a source of love and companionship. Remember, you are never too old to begin new friendships. Your new friend could be sitting at the table next to you in a coffee shop, or standing behind you in line at the grocery store! Check-ups

See your doctor regularly. Your doctor has the same goal as you – keeping your body in optimum health. By taking the time to have regular check-ups, you can usually catch small health problems before they turn into big ones. It is important to schedule regular eye, ear

and dental exams, too. By getting yearly preventative check-ups, you are taking a proactive approach to your ageing process. Most diseases are highly treatable when caught early. Safety

Make safety your priority. By putting safety first, you increase your odds of living a longer, fuller life. You will also be a great living example to your children and grandchildren that safety matters. Always wear your seatbelt when travelling in a car or on a bus. Wear a helmet if you ride a bike. Use smoke

detectors in your house and change their batteries regularly. Purchase a carbon monoxide alarm and exercise caution with gas appliances. By using your common sense, you can reduce the risk of accidents and injury. Exercise

Exercise is important for healthy ageing. Regular exercise can delay or prevent heart disease and diabetes, as well as lessen the pain of arthritis and improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Four kinds of exercise should be part of your routine: aerobics to build endurance and keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, strength training to reduce age-related loss of muscle, stretching to keep your body flexible, and balance exercises to reduce your chances of falling. Use these tips to pave your way toward growing older. Follow them and search for others to help you on your way. While ageing is inevitable, you have the information and resources that generations before you didn’t have; use them to ensure you have a great, full life in your retirement years.

The Definitive guide to active retirement 65


security

Seniors Alert

communities supporting older people More people are living longer and fuller lives with many older people choosing to live independently in their own homes...

B

ecause of the rising number of older people residing in this country today, safety and security is important to ensure seniors have peace of mind and feel secure in their own homes. 66 The Definitive guide to active retirement

The Seniors Alert Scheme aims to encourage community support for vulnerable older people in our communities. The scheme provides grant assistance towards


security

the purchase and installation of equipment to enable older persons without sufficient means to continue

to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind. Grant support is available towards the purchase and installation of personal monitored alarm systems and can be accessed through community and voluntary groups registered with the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government. All applications for grant support must be submitted

through community and voluntary groups registered with the Department. Information on the Seniors Alert Scheme and the list of voluntary registered groups can be obtained at www. environ.ie. Keep safe at home

Your home is a big part of your life. It can affect your whole sense of well-being so it is important that you feel happy and safe there. Safety experts agree that the best way to deal with

The Definitive guide to active retirement 67


security

security tips • K eep your possessions safe by securing your home. Contact the Seniors Alert Scheme to see if you are eligible for grant assistance towards the purchase and installation of secuirty equipment on’t keep large amounts • D of money in your home. Keep it in a bank or building society where it is much safer

crime in the home is to take every step possible to prevent it from happening to you. A security system can not only protect seniors from outside threats such as thieves, but can also allow for other forms of communication, such as medical alert, in case of a fall or other accidents. Keep doors locked at all times. Because seniors are sometimes less alert or move less quickly, it’s important that doors always remain locked, because by the time there is a threat that becomes known, it could be too late. While it is important to keep doors locked at all times,

seniors should also ensure that close friends or family members have keys, in order to check in on the person, if necessary. Always keep a phone nearby and always know where it’s located.

further information The Seniors Alert Unit, Community & Voluntary Supports Division, Dept of the Environment, Community & Local Government, Teeling St., Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo.

Tel: 071-918 6707/ 071-918 6733/ 071-918 6765 E: seniorsalert@environ.ie

68 The Definitive guide to active retirement

ake sure you have good • M exterior lighting on your home. A well-lit home not only deters criminals, but can also prevent other accidents and injuries resulting from darkness o not to let strangers • D into your home. Fit a door chain and viewer ever give out personal • N information to strangers who come to your door or telephone you ever let a maintenance • N man who has just turned up at your door into your home. Check ID of maintenance men that you are expecting. You can check with their employer beforehand. If you are ever in doubt – ask them to come back when someone else is with you.


security

Help is only seconds away... H

elplink South was established in 1996 and is a non-profit organisation with charitable status providing socially monitored alarms to the elderly, disabled or anyone living alone. Our aim is to restore confidence, independence and peace of mind to encourage people to remain in their own homes and be a member of their own community. We provide a 24-hour service, 7 days a week, 365

days a year. We supply install and maintain the socially monitored alarm and pendant. Simply by pressing the pendant, which is worn around the neck or wrist, you are in contact with a monitoring station within seconds who will make voice-to-voice contact to enable them to reassure or send help if needed. A high quality standard is guaranteed and we are

socially monitored alarm and pendant

the first in the Republic of Ireland to receive the Telecare Services Quality mark.

Helplink

South

Helplink South is a non–profit organisation with charitable status helping to restore confidence,

independence and peace of mind

c Free installation c Maintenance c Special offer for all new clients â‚Ź67.50 per year or â‚Ź22.50 per quarter c All calls are answered within 30 seconds

c Two panic buttons in the one home can be monitored for the same cost c Birthday calls c Organise periodic calls on request c Be-friendly service

24-hour all year round independence and peace of mind for as little as

2per5c day

T: 90 644 5080 c 090 644 5081 E: patricia@helplinksouth.com www.helplinksouth.com Unit 16, Act Building, Ballalley Lane, Parnell Square, Athlone, Co. Westmeath


education

Don’t be worried about

going back to

education

B

ridie Daly from Wesmeath says “The biggest fear I had was that I would be the only one with difficulties spelling and writing and that the course would be like school. It couldn’t have been more different and I tell everyone I meet that there’s no need to be worried about attending a course, it’s the best decision I ever made.” Bridie fell behind at school because she had dyslexia that was undiagnosed. She decided to return to education as an adult to help her daughter with her homework. Similarly, several years ago, Olive Phelan joined an adult literacy class in her local adult education centre in

Dublin. “I was very nervous going back to education but it’s the best decision I ever took,” she says. “The tutors were absolutely brilliant, they made me feel so at ease and now I’m learning online,” she says. According to the last international survey, one in four or 25% of Irish adults have literacy difficulties – 500,000 adults were found to be at or below literacy level 1 of a five level scale. At this level a person may, for example, be unable to determine the correct amount of medicine to take based on information printed on the medicine package. The International Literacy survey also showed that another 30% of Irish adults

70 The Definitive guide to active retirement

were at level 2, meaning they could only cope with very simple material. In the past literacy was considered to be the ability to read and write. Today the meaning of literacy has changed to reflect changes in


education


education

Interview with... Tony Moloney

society and the skills needed by individuals to participate fully in society. It involves listening, speaking, reading, writing, numeracy and using everyday technology to communicate and handle information. Most adults with literacy difficulties can read something but find it hard to understand official forms or deal with modern technology. Some will have left school confident about their literacy skills but find that changes in their workplace and everyday life 72 The Definitive guide to active retirement

Like many people with literacy difficulties, Tony Moloney, thought he was the only one. “I thought I was alone and that it was a shameful thing. If I ever had to deal with anything official, it hung over me like a huge fear in case I’d be asked to read,” he says. However, since attending adult education classes everything has changed. “Going back to education has inspired and empowered me,” says Tony. “I can’t praise the tutors in Youghal enough, they’ve given me the confidence to try anything. And now I’m even representing other learners on the National Adult Literacy Agency Student Subcommittee,” says Tony proudly. Tony Moloney was born and reared in Blackpool in the northside of Cork. He was the youngest of six siblings and was only seven years old when his father died in the 1960s. Because his mother had multiple sclerosis, his eldest sister Rita gave up her job to look after and raise the family, while his brother Donal took on his father’s role of bringing in the

money and making sure everyone towed the line. Like many of his generation, Tony got left behind in Primary school as there were 57 children in his class. Despite this, things improved when he entered Secondary school, where there were smaller classes. “It was only then that I started learning,” says Tony. “I remember there was one teacher, Mr Twomey, a very tall, thin man from the Gaeltacht. He took an interest in me and was the highlight of my schooling. While I was weak at reading and writing, he knew I was good at maths and science and gave me great encouragement,” he says. Indeed Tony excelled in these subjects and got an A+ in both Maths and Science in the Inter Cert. After completing these exams, Tony left school in 1973 and got an apprenticeship as a painter and decorator. He had originally applied for a job with Pfizer in Cork and he even made it to the second interview but lost out because of his literacy difficulties. Since then he has worked


education

“ Going back to education has inspired and empowered me” continuously in a number of different jobs but he admits that his problems with reading and writing have always haunted him. “When I worked as a taxi driver in Cork I was expected to jot down addresses and directions from the radio. That wasn’t an option for me so I bought a Dictaphone to get around this – recording the message the minute it came in and playing it back to myself. If I couldn’t read signs, I’d ask someone. Before long I’d memorised all our customers and addresses,” he says. Tony also worked in the pub business for a while but always found the paperwork difficult. “I was nearly teaching myself to read at that stage – comparing the labels on bottles with the names in order forms,” he says. But dealing with solicitors and banks or anything official was always nerve wrecking. “You think you’re the only one who has a problem reading or writing, so you have this constant fear that you’ll be caught out,” he says. It was only recently that Tony

decided to return to education and tackled his literacy difficulties. “I signed up for a computer course in Youghal Adult Learning Centre - basically I was entitled to six hours free tuition in the evenings as part of a FÁS job I was doing locally. That was really the start for me. The tutor noticed that I had difficulty reading and spelling so with her support I decided to do one-to-one literacy classes,” he says. “At first I was terrified as I thought I was the only one with problems or that I was the worst. But they’re amazing in the Youghal Centre – they have this ability to put you instantly at ease, everyone is treated as an equal, there’s no them and us,” he says. After a year and a half working with his tutor, Tony joined a group class with 10 other adults. “It’s fantastic, we’ve been together two years and are now all on FETAC Level 3 at the moment – everyone has similar stories and is helping each other out – it’s great fun,” says Tony, who has special praise for his tutor Cathy O’Mahoney. “It’s unbelievable what she does every

day. She’s always online getting us new resources to work on and training herself so she can help us even more. She knows how I have difficulty seeing words on a page and has given me different aids to help me with reading,” he says. Tony was voted class representative by his classmates. There are four from each area in Cork – Cobh, Fermoy, Midleton and Youghal who represent their colleagues views and organise student development days and attend networking events. It was while attending last year’s Student Day in Waterford that Tony was invited to join the National Adult Literacy Agency Student Subcommittee. “Three years ago I was one of six guys working with FÁS who was offered six hours free tuition, and it’s given me a new lease of life. It’s a great opportunity that makes a huge difference and I would hate to see that opportunity lost to others with cutbacks in education and training. That’s something that I will be working for,” says Tony.

The Definitive guide to active retirement 73


education

make their skills inadequate. For example, if a person left school before Junior Cert and didn’t have to use their reading and writing skills in their work or home life, they could easily get out of practice and lose confidence in their ability to use those skills. Literacy is like a muscle. If you don’t use reading and writing skills

every day you can get out of practice. The great news though is that all over Ireland, lots of people are returning to learning and improving their reading, writing and maths. They are people who want to catch up on what they missed at school, parents who want to help children with their homework and those who would simply like to write an email. Whatever the reason for going back to learning, the benefits are always the same. Not only


education

do people improve their old skills, but they also gain the confidence to learn new ones. Currently in Ireland there are over 55,000 adults attending literacy courses nationwide. This service is mainly provided by the VEC Adult Literacy Services. The National Adult Literacy Agency also offers a distance education service where adults can learn with a tutor over the phone or internet in the comfort of their own home. Michael Power from Co. Tipperary feels passionate about his journey back to

education. “I want to take everyone by the hand and take them on the journey I’ve been on,” he says. “It’s been a rollercoaster. Ten years ago I couldn’t read bedtime stories to my kids but since going back to adult education I’ve done my leaving cert in English and Maths. My daughter even told me I was better at explaining algebra than her teachers!” Adult learning is a very different experience to school. Adult learning is all about addressing the needs of the learner, working at a pace that suits them and mapping out a

learning path that fits in with their life and interests. The important thing to remember is that it is never too late to return to learning and the benefits are well worth it.

further information If you would like to find out more about returning to education call the National Adult Literacy Agency on 1800 20 20 65 or Freetext LEARN to 50050. For more information visit www.nala.ie

The Definitive guide to active retirement 75


FINANCIAL PLANNING

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Planning for the future When did you last review your provisions for your retirement?

A

t every stage of our lives, our situations are changing. From starting our first job, to having children, to planning for retirement - our priorities are never the same. And it’s often difficult

to relate what we will want in the future, to what we have to do now to get there. Financial Planning is all about just that – identifying what we need to do now to plan for our future. For any

of us approaching retirement, obvious priorities might be clearing any outstanding debt, planning home improvements or ensuring that sufficient pension plans are in place. There are other factors, however, which might need to be considered beyond retirement. • When I retire, how much replacement income will I need? • If I became sick and was unable to work, how much replacement income would my family and I need? • If I died, how much replacement income would my partner or family need?



FINANCIAL PLANNING

With increased standards of living and medical advances, we’re now (thankfully!) living longer than ever before. Which makes planning our finances

post-retirement all the more important. It’s important to consider the possibility that we may develop a chronic illness and need constant care, or for the possibility that we may need to move to a nursing home. Dental care is another expense that can often be overlooked. The dental work required in retirement tends to be more extensive than just the run of the mill procedures.

free financial review At Ulster Bank, we offer a ‘free financial review’ with one of our financial planning managers, which will cover the following areas: Income: First we look at your total household income. Security: We check to see if you have enough cover in place to protect you and your family for loss of regular income due to death or serious illness. Savings and investments: We can help you to select the right mix and match your choices so you can ensure that your money is put to work and available when you need it most. Retirement: We look at your plans for retirement to ensure you have enough money to enjoy the lifestyle you expect. Once you’ve assessed what you currently have in place, this needs to be related to your life goals and values. Are your plans sufficient, or do you need to consider:

78 The Definitive guide to active retirement

• Topping up your pension fund/retirement savings • A ssessing your attitude to investing and giving informed consideration to the many longer term capital secured and unsecured options available • R e-organising any life or income protection policies to change the level of Life or Serious Illness cover that suits your changing circumstances Once you have completed your review and addressed any changes which were required, you can get on with your life, safe in the knowledge that you are prepared for the future.


FINANCIAL PLANNING

Along with the State Pension and benefits, there a number of grants and entitlements that people may qualify for in retirement. These grants are means tested and cover part of the cost of some essential home improvements, for example: • structural and heating repairs • mobility issues in your home • insulation www.citizensinformation.ie is a good place to start for more information on things like this.

Supporting additional dependents may be an unexpected draw on income in retirement. For example, elderly relatives or adult children may remain part of the household. However, as many

entitlements change regularly, the bulk of preparation rests with ourselves. We should all review our financial plans at least once a year. An annual review is all about ensuring that what you have in place is continuing to meet your needs. It gives peace of mind that the plans you have now are adequate and to ensure that your money is working as hard as it can for you. And if not, it makes us aware of what we need to do. When reviewing your finances, it’s important to make sure you have up-to-date information, by reviewing the following: • Details of any existing life

• • • •

assurance and protection policies already in place Any bank or building society savings account statements or passbooks Certificates for any investments or shares Details of any pension scheme Recent payslips

further information To make an appointment with an Ulster Bank Financial Planning Manager and discuss how our ‘free financial planning review’ could help you, drop into your local branch or call 1800 200 936 and we’ll be happy to help.

Ulster Bank Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland The Definitive guide to active retirement 79



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