ZOOMER Magazine - - ISSUE -

While lone­li­ness in old age is of­ten per­ceived to be a women’s is­sue, men are equally at risk of suf­fer­ing due to a lack of so­cial con­nec­tions. When Ken Burger, 82, of Kelowna, B.C., re­tired at the age of 75, he missed the ca­ma­raderie of work­ing with oth­ers, us­ing his hands and mind and hav­ing a sense of ac­com­plish­ment in his day. “I was get­ting very de­pressed just sit­ting around and do­ing noth­ing and then I spent a month in the hos­pi­tal be­ing treated for de­pres­sion,” he says. “Then I found out about the Men’s Shed group – I was hooked right away.” Af­ter join­ing the Okana­gan Men’s Shed, Burger got a new lease on life. Twice a week, he and about 30 fel­low mem­bers get to­gether to work on projects of their choos­ing. “The group helped pull me out my de­pres­sion,” he says. Orig­i­nat­ing in Aus­tralia, Men’s Sheds pro­mote so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and re­duce de­pres­sion. It’s a com­mu­nal workspace where men work with their hands – re­fin­ish fur­ni­ture, re­pair a small en­gine, build a bird­house – and so­cial­ize with other men. It’s a space to build and cre­ate – and to keep minds and bod­ies ac­tive. There are more than 900 chap­ters around the world, in­clud­ing 10 in Canada. To find a Men’s Shed near you, menssheds.ca.

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