Report: Evaluating the Impact of Membership of Active Retirement Ireland on the Lives of Older People
NUI Galway and Irish Centre for Social Gerontology21 November 2012
Active Retirement Ireland, an organisation that aims to foster independence and solidarity among older people, is making a significant contribution to Irish society, according to this evaluation. Active Retirement Ireland is a national network of 550 local Active Retirement Associations that provide a variety of activities for more than 23,000 older people in the Republic of Ireland.
In surveys, members of local retirement associations strongly agreed that joining a local retirement association improved their mental health (e.g., making them feel valued and giving them enhanced self-esteem) and boosted their sense of independence and confidence to do things for themselves. Further, members reported a greater awareness of policy issues that affect older people in Ireland and a stronger inclination to act on them since joining. These findings suggest that Active Retirement Ireland provides a potential forum for older people to become more engaged with issues that affect their lives, the evaluators wrote.
Given the positive findings, evaluators stated that Active Retirement Ireland and Active Retirement Associations deserve to be explicitly recognised in policy documents such as the National Positive Ageing Strategy. Because there is a lack of similar services provided by the State, the government should consider increasing its financial support for Active Retirement Ireland, the evaluators recommended.
Active Retirement Ireland, an Atlantic grantee, commissioned this report.