Older people linked in Northern Ireland

An initiative aimed at helping older people get in contact with others of a similar age has been launched in Northern Ireland by health minister Edwin Poots. Unveiling MindWise's Reaching Out - Connecting Older People's programme, the politician noted the elderly are a group often isolated and marginalised from the local community.

He explained recent research has shown those in this demographic with mental health problems represents an ever-increasing group in a country where more than a quarter of a million adults are of a pensionable age.

It is hoped that the Older People's Community Bridge Builder Service can help to combat the high levels of depression seen when people lose their social networks as they age.

Mr Poots praised the work of MindWise - which was registered as a company limited by guarantee in Northern Ireland in 2009 - noting the organisation recognises the important role played by care in the community, adding: "Living in their own homes and being part of their community helps older people's recovery and ultimately their quality of life."