Northern Ireland

Belfast to host conference on growth in elderly population

A conference on how society should react to the increasing elderly population will take place in Belfast on Wednesday.

About 150 experts from academic, public policy and age sector backgrounds will discuss how to deal with issues such as housing, dementia and employment.

The conference, at Queen's University, has been organised by Age NI.

Duane Farrell, from the charity, said society has to evaluate how it treats older people.

"The reality is that we now have more people living over the age of 50 than there are under the age of 18," he said.

"As a society, that just means that we are going to have to, maybe, do things differently, whether that is how we provide services or how we create opportunities for older people to remain active and engaged in their communities, or potentially in the workplace.

"But there are debates that we need to have and we need to change things a little to make sure that our society is a good place to grow older."