Sept. 29 to Oct. 5 is Seniors’ Week in Saskatchewan, which coincides with National Seniors Day and International Day of Older Persons on Oct. 1. Seniors deserve special attention all year, but this week in particular is to recognize how important seniors are in our families and communities and to celebrate their many positive contributions—past and present.
According to the Ministry of Health, one in seven people in Saskatchewan is currently 65 years of age or older. That’s a big portion of our population! And this number is expected to climb to one in six by 2020.
Think for a moment about a senior who positively impacted your life in some way. Maybe it was a special grandparent who made sleep-overs so much fun. Maybe an elderly neighbour invited you in when you locked yourself out of the house. (I couldn’t have been the only latch-key kid during the 70s.) Or maybe it’s all of the veterans who fought for the freedoms we enjoy today.
When I was a child, I had a special grandma who brought ice cream pails full of homemade gingerbread men every Christmas for us grandkids to decorate. (So much fun!) I also had a special grandpa who made me feel like the most important person in the world and who fully funded my post-secondary education. (OK, I didn’t exactly pursue a PhD but it was generous nonetheless.) My grandma and grandpa both passed away years ago, but I think of them a lot and am so grateful for their love and positive influence on my life.
Today, I have a number of super special seniors in my life, many of whom I’ve met through No Place Like Home. I draw strength from their honesty and fiery will to remain independent. And I enjoy each and every minute I get to spend with them. How lucky I am.
What can you do to make a senior feel special this week? Here are a few practical ideas:
- Peruse family photos with a senior.
- Play a game or learn a game with a senior.
- Watch an old film or family videos with a senior.
- Call a senior.
- Take a senior out for coffee (and maybe a piece of pie!).
- Visit or volunteer at a seniors’ centre.
- Learn a recipe from a senior.
- Invite a senior to watch the Rider game versus Calgary on Friday night.
- Help a senior with a daily chore.
- Visit a public library with a senior.
- Send a hand-written letter or postcard to a senior.
What you do is not as important as just doing something. Lend a hend. Lend your ear. YOU are the best gift you can give to a senior.