This is the first in a short series of posts recognizing the contribution of The Atlantic Philanthropies to the improvement of lives of older people in Ireland.
Charles ( Chuck) Feeney is an Irish American businessman who in 1982 set up the Atlantic Philanthropies. This is one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world. It supports various social justice causes across the globe, including here in Ireland, where the beneficiaries range from the child focussed Barnardos to the Older & Bolder umbrella organization for social justice for seniors. In 2009 The Atlantic Philanthropies spent US$ 46.1 million in the Republic of Ireland.
The name Chuck Feeney may be familiar to Irish readers as he famously endows third level educational institutions in Ireland, most notably the University of Limerick with many millions of dollars. Less well know is the fact that The Atlantic Philanthropies is actively engaged in fighting ageism and has as core beliefs that older people have a right to a good quality of life, health and economic security. It funds ageing programmes in the United States of America as well in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland that challenge the limitations on full social participation by older people.
The Ageing Programme concentrates on matters of concern to older adults, such as poverty, gender, beliefs, health issues, geographic isolation. It aims to strengthen the voice of older people and the organizations that represent them so that they may have a positive impact on social policy.
Older & Bolder has a vision of Ireland that affirms the rights of all older people to live and die in dignity and with the respect of the community at large. The Atlantic Philanthropies continues through its generous donations to influence this agenda in Ireland.
Read more about The Atlantic Philanthropies on Wikipedia here.
Read more about The Atlantic Philanthropies on their own site here.
Older & Bolder website can be accessed here.
4 responses to “Fighting Ageism in Ireland”
Hi Angela, love the blog. This is just a message to thank you for highlighting the work we do in Older & Bolder, made possible by Atlantic Philanthropies’ funding – currently we’re trying to ensure that the new government appoint a dedicated Minister for older people http://www.olderandbolder.ie/content/deep-concern-no-minister-older-people
Thank you for your kind comments. I have only recently discovered Older & Bolder and was delighted to find that you are spearheading a campaign on behalf of those of us who are no longer young. I hope to do regular posts highlighting your causes and issues of concern to many of us.
I plan on traveling to Ireland one day soon (within two years). That being said, I can only imagine that the challenges that older people face here in the US is similar to those in Ireland. We have 55+ communities where no one under the age of 55 can occupy and there are numerous activities in which the Senior Citizen can enjoy. When an older citizen needs some help, like grocery shopping, we have Assisted Living communities and for those that need constant care there are Nursing Homes. I am in my mid 60’s and still live in a regular neighborhood. Younger adults for the most part are nice to Seniors, but you do have to be on-guard for the rare renegade.
Angela, thanks for sharing your blog.
Thank you for your comment! Indeed the problems faced by older people have a certain similarity all over the world. I do not know of any 55+ communities here, nor have I heard of widespread Assisted Living communities. There is, however, a move away from Nursing Homes towards staying at home or in the community. I hope that when my time comes there may be community based options.
I am sure that when you travel to Ireland, you will find a very warm welcome, for welcome you will be!