Scenes of smiles and laughter abounded on Thursday evening as elderly users of Cluid Housing Association were treated to a night of entertainment.
The housing organisation provided its residents with an evening of entertainment to mark the European year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.
Older residents from 15 of Cluid’s sheltered housing schemes all over the country converged on Thomond Park for the occasion, which included dinner, meeting Munster Rugby players and enjoying performances from the Irish Chamber Orchestra and local school children in the University Concert Hall.
May Bolton, originally from Birmingham but now living in Newcastle West, said: “I felt privileged to meet the Munster players as I have never met any of the Irish players before. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the Chamber Orchestra perform.”
May continued:“I came to Limerick in 2002 for a holiday and I never went back, I loved it. I think the event has portrayed Limerick really well for visitors to the city.”
Henry Massey, also from Newcastle West, enthused: “I’ve never been at a concert before so I’m looking forward to that. I’ve also never been here (Thomond Park) before so it’s exciting and I am enjoying it and I cannot wait to meet the players. The stadium looks really well.”
Following the meal and reception in Thomond Park the elderly visitors were brought to the University Concert Hall to witness a performance by The Irish Chamber Orchestra and world renowned violinist Pekka Kuusisto.
Minister for Housing and Planning Jan O’Sullivan, T.D., and Mayor Gerry McLoughlin were also in attendance for the performance at which local school children from Presentation Primary School and Galvone National School performed during the reception and interval.
Cluid’s Regional Director in Limerick, Tim Porter, described Cluid’s aim for independent housing for the elderly: “Rather than seeing housing and care as separate entities, the extra care housing model brings these two concepts together to provide care to those who need it in their own home, allowing some older people to live independently rather than in expensive nursing homes.”
He concluded: “We have no choice about growing older, but we can make the process one which does not mean an inevitable drift into dependence. With the right supports we can avoid the trauma for many older people who would otherwise have to move into a nursing home or hospital.”
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