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A better world for older adults

Make 2019 the year we celebrate seniors
By Hazel McCallion
Out with the old and in with the new. There are some great traditions around the world to ring in the new year. One I always find curious comes from Italy where people throw their old dishes out of their windows and into the streets. Sounds like great fun, as long as you’re not standing underneath the window.

Of course, a new year is also a time to make resolutions. Popular choices are to start a diet, exercise more, or learn something new. I have another to add to the list. Let’s make 2019 a year to celebrate seniors.
“I believe strongly in building each other up because collectively we are greater than we are as individuals.”
Seniors are capable of so much, but often getting older is defined by what people can’t do. When I meet with seniors, I always say: It’s not your age that matters, it’s what you do at that age that matters.

I recently wrote about some of the characteristics that make seniors great: wisdom, beauty, experience, confidence and leadership. And of course, there are still more qualities. Seniors are talented, as we just saw at the recent Reel Youth Age Is More Film Gala at Greenway Retirement Residence in Brampton. Seniors are caring, as we see every time there’s a call to help our neighbours. And, seniors are reliable community members as we give back to the places that helped us raise our families.

I’ve always tried to encourage others to live a life of purpose. I believe strongly in building each other up because collectively we are greater than we are as individuals. There is so much satisfaction in sharing a sense of accomplishment.

So, what can you do? Well, for starters create opportunities for older adults to contribute meaningfully, whether it’s in your business or personal life. Hire a senior. Consult a senior. Or just entertain a senior. There’s great value in spending time with seniors and seeking their input. All you have to do is ask for it.
Hazel McCallion
By Hazel McCallion
Hazel McCallion joined Revera as Chief Elder Officer in 2015. Her leadership guides how Revera can improve care for our residents as she uses her position to challenge ageism and preconceptions about aging.