Issues like depression, isolation and suicide are becoming more prevalent in the older generation here according to one of Derry’s best known senior citizens’ groups.
The Citizens of Senior Years (COSY) Club, have now issued a call to people aged over 50 and living in the Derry area to come forward if they are experiencing loneliness and isolation.
Rose McCormick, Chairperson of the Group said while there is increased awareness around depression and suicide in the younger generation, older people are often forgotten when such topics are discussed.
“There is a high rate of suicide amongst the older generation which doesn’t get talked about at all,” said Rose.
“Often at this age people are living on their own and coping with grief after perhaps having lost a partner. It’s at this stage in their lives that people can feel most isolated and that’s why our club exists. This club began over ten years because an elderly person in the community had died and the body lay undiscovered for a number of days.
“Loneliness is often the biggest killer and at the COSY Club we try and combat it. The club itself is a place of warmth and humour and great company. We plan our year in three month sections and there are really good activities and days out. We find that when people come once, they keep coming back and the club is a lifeline for many people.
“We have a variety of activities, we have around 60 members and we meet at Farren Way in Hazelbank and Donal O’Casey Court near the Sports Complex. Everyone is welcome and we’d love to have new members.”
Club co-ordinator Geraldine Fitzpatrick added: “Issues like loneliness, isolation and indeed suicide among our elderly people are totally ignored and we feel that as a club we have a responsibility to talk about this. We want to encourage people who are aged 50 and over to get in contact and enjoy forming new friendships and most importantly having good company and people to talk to.”
Contact the COSY Club at 02871 370196 or on Facebook under the name ‘Cosy Club Derry.’