Honouring our seniors
According to the United Nations, the proportion of older people within the global population will more than double between now and the year 2050. This is actually good news, as it indicates an improvement in health and socio-economic conditions. However, the phenomenon also implies some difficulties for societies around the world, and these issues will have to be tackled during the twenty-first century.
The World Bank reports that life expectancy, which in 2009 had already reached 81 in Canada, is also increasing in developing countries. Healthy seniors are an important resource for families and for the economy, and investing in their health brings benefits to society as a whole. It is important, therefore, to highlight the important con-
One senior in four is a caregiver for a family member.
tribution of seniors in Canada. Seniors give a lot to their communities and to their families— one senior in four is a caregiver for a family and the hours that seniors give to volunteer work exceed those of all other age groups. Sadly, their work often goes unrecognized.
How can we honour these important members of our society? On a personal level, you could send cards to the seniors in your family, visit them, or just pick up the phone and call them. Spending time with someone at a seniors centre is another good idea, as is taking an active interest in their lives and offering to do errands or chores to make life easier for them.
Other ways to make the entire community more aware of their contribution are to organize walks for seniors, set up an intergenerational reading club, plan a commemorative tree planting ceremony, or establish an activity in local schools to facilitate cross-generation cooperation.