Limerick has Ireland’s fastest aging population. By 2046, the population of the 65+ age group will grow by 263%. This conjures up images of streets filled with walkers and wheel chairs, but that is most definitely not the case. With 42% of the population under 30, there is the vibrancy evident within the city. Limerick hosts 18,000 students as part of this demographic, flavoring the city the college town vibe found the world over.
Based on a week of meeting various agency and academic representatives, along with seniors actively advocating for their needs, we can state with confidence that the vibrancy we experience is a result of this community as well. That does not diminish the needs of this population in any way. Rather the way we have come to view the seniors we have met has perhaps shifted somewhat. We see the seniors contributing to the life of the city in significant ways, it’s just that they collectively wish to have the opportunity to contribute to this vibrancy more. From what we have witnessed, they most definitely can and will. The barriers to achieving this share a common theme, which we will share once we meet with more of the stakeholders invested in transitioning Limerick into a premier “Age Friendly City”.
And now for the anecdote! In one of our meetings with a member of the Older Persons Council, we met a gentleman who not only teaches dancing, but dances with a frequency that would be the envy of any active athlete! Animated and full of stories to share, there are few who could keep up with him on our best days! Evidence that the city vibe comes from the talents of all its residents.