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Celebrating a Week for Seniors (South Vancouver Island CRNs)
September 29 - October 5
The International Day of the Older Person on October 1 is a perfect time to celebrate the contributions of the elders in our homes and in our community and recognize their value to society. The South Vancouver Island Community Response Networks (SVI CRN) are coming together to celebrate the older members of our community with a number of events September 29 – October 5 throughout Victoria, Saanich Peninsula, Westshore and Gulf Islands. All seniors are invited to attend any or all of the fun events described below. They are free of charge, with the exception of the Hermanns Jazz Matinee:
View a copy of the calendar of events here.
For any questions regarding these events, please feel free to contact:
October 1 – International Day of the Older Person – Celebrate seniors with a week of special events!
Is there an older person in your life?
Then please join the entire world on October 1 to recognize the International Day of the Older Person, selected by the United Nations in 1990 to formally recognize the special values seniors bring to our society.
Population aging is one of humanity’s greatest triumphs. It is also one of our greatest challenges.
– World Health Organization
Populations around the world are getting older. By 2031, almost one in four people in B.C. (that’s more than 1.3 million people) will be over the age of 65.
B.C. communities need to change and adapt in a way that supports our aging population. Active, healthy aging helps reduce the pressure on health care and social services.
Seniors make important contributions to their families, their communities, the economy, and the province. Older people who stay healthy, active and independent can continue to contribute their skills, knowledge, and experience to society.
A common observation from many seniors is that they feel invisible – their opinions stop mattering, their needs are often ignored, their feelings discounted as others start telling them what to do and when to do it. It is sad to think that people with so much to give and to share don’t feel part of their community anymore. They helped to build that community, often sacrificing so much so that those younger than them wouldn’t have to.
There’s an interesting observation about ageism – treating people a certain way because of their age. One day, we will get there as well! It’s important to consider if there are ways to improve the dignity and quality of life for older persons in our society, as we could be a victim of those prejudices in the future.
Sadly, many older adults feel invisible and believe their thoughts don’t matter, and that no one has time to listen or care,” says Cari Taylor, Regional Mentor for the South Vancouver Island CRNs. “Combating discrimination based on age and promoting the dignity of older persons is fundamental to ensuring the respect that older persons deserve, and helps ensure they are not vulnerable to experiencing multiple forms of abuse.”
You may well ask, how can I make a difference? All change starts with small steps. Consider the seniors in your own circle of friends, family and acquaintances, as a starting point. Here are a few suggestions that are easy to try:
- Write them a card or letter of gratitude on October 1. Tell them why they’re important to you. Share what you’ve learned from them.
- Take a senior out for coffee, or for a walk, especially in nature.
- Join them on a park or street bench and strike up a conversation.
- Become aware of the challenges in their environment and give a hand – help them down the stairs, or walk with them across the street. Reach up to get them an item that’s on a high shelf in the store.
- Hand some change to the homeless senior you pass on the street.
- Volunteer at your local seniors’ residence.
- If you have a calm pet, take them to visit a seniors’ residence.
- Drop off a box of Timbits, or a pan of your best brownies, to a seniors activity centre.
- When you think you can’t stand to hear that same story one more time, try listening “in between the lines” and ask them about their feelings and thoughts surrounding that event.
SVI CRN is part of the provincial association BC CRN, whose mandate is to raise awareness of senior abuse, neglect and self neglect. CRNs work with local community organizations across BC all year long to improve the quality of life for seniors. Presentations and activities create opportunities for seniors to connect, be social, reducing the loneliness and isolation that is often associated with abuse and self neglect. They also receive vital information about topics such as fraud and scams, ageism, and hoarding as well as learning more about how elder abuse happens, what it looks like and what to watch for.