By: Laura Christie
The jubilant month of June – all thirty days – is dedicated to seniors. The theme in 2017 is “Living Your Best Life.” I learned this when I viewed a desperately basic content page courtesy of the government of Ontario. The Ontario Senior Secretariat site was even worse. It read, “A description for this result is not available because of this site’s robot.txt.” I have no idea what that means, but obviously it wasn’t good or helpful.
There was not one picture to view. No seniors playing hockey, baseball, surfing or riding a bike. Heck, world-wide, the oldest person to climb Mount Everest was eighty years old. In fact, a Nepali man and former record holder, died in May at eighty-five, while attempting to regain the title. Our own volunteer base is largely older adults and seniors. A great percentage of them are fit, active and empowered. They travel, go on adventures, hike, walk, ride, skip, jump – the whole nine yards. They have busy schedules. Most of them are not only living longer, they are living their best life. It’s predicted that by 2031, just a mere fourteen years away, one in four Canadians will be 65 or older. Yikes, myself included.
Meals on Wheels London kicked off Seniors Month by hosting a well-attended barbecue outside of our Village Table location at 630 Dundas Street. A success for sure; 350 burgers were gobbled up! So, with mouths full, a shout-out was given to the seniors in our lives. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped-out. One Hundred and One cheers to Growing Chefs! Ontario for the awesome food.
The last Canadian census confirmed that we have 5.9 million people aged 65 and over. And by over, I mean by a lot. As I wrote this blog, there were 8,230 people in Canada who were centenarians. Many famous seniors reached 100, such as the Queen Mother, George Burns, Bob Hope, Kirk Douglas, Olivia de Havilland and Zsa Zsa Gabor (“dahlink”). By the way, with all those Canadian centenarians, there is a ratio of five women to every man. Women must have a secret to extended longevity.
Do you know what was listed on that government website? How to request a celebratory message from the Prime Minister, the Premier of Ontario and the Lieutenant Governor to mark certain milestones. Let’s turn things around – those three people should be the ones asking to receive messages from the seniors who surround them. Oh, the things they would learn.
When the government devotes a whole month to seniors – they should make it count. Community agencies like ours already celebrate seniors every day!