Summer Appeal - Donald's Story There are over 350,000 older people living in Northern Ireland. And over the next twenty years that figure is expected to increase by 30%. As the number of older people increases so does the demand on our services. That’s why we need your help. If you can, please donate to our Summer Appeal today and help us provide emotional support, care and advice to vulnerable older people like Donald. Read his story below Donate Donald’s Story Donald became extremely isolated after his wife passed away. Spending time at an Age NI day centre has helped him to turn his life around. ‘I married my wife Josephine shortly before I retired. We were married for nine and a half years before she passed away. When Josephine had been around we were always out seeing her family, or taking trips to England to see mine. And we loved going on cruises. After she died I gradually left the house less and less. Our home is in quite an isolated area, and I have a lung condition which means even a short walk can leave me extremely breathless. I felt trapped in my own home. If I hadn’t got help from Age NI I think I would have just faded away. My doctor got in touch with Age NI on my behalf. All I had to do was fill in a short form, and then a few weeks later I got a call from their day centre in Portaferry. Claire, the manager there, offered me the chance to go to the day centre three days a week on the Monday, Wednesday and Friday. So that’s what I did, and it’s made such a difference. The staff at the day centre have given me a tremendous amount of support. They’ve given me a new outlook on life and being here has done wonders for me. The staff and volunteers are absolutely first class. I’ve made some great friends at the day centre and I really like it here. If I could give any advice to other older people it would be to get involved with something, a group or club, and stay active. Its important to keep a young mind.’ If you or anyone you know are facing any of these issues please call our Advice and Advocacy service on Freephone 0808 808 7575.