When my parents first bought a house in the small town of Lumsden, Saskatchewan, it was more a retirement community than anything else. The nearby capital city of Regina was growing fast and considered the place to be for young families, while Lumsden’s population was mostly aging couples that had lived in or around the town for years.
Because of that, I had plenty of interactions with seniors as I was growing up. Mrs Cox, the widow across the back alley, made me a baby blanket shortly after I was born. My next door neighbours the Sagins grew a beautiful garden and would often let me help select a bouquet of flowers to bring home and put on the table. And when I was a little older, Mrs. Neidermeyer from church taught me how to make the most delicious biscuits I’ve ever had in my life.
Thanks to those early interactions, I’ve always understood the value that seniors bring to the lives of those that love them and to the community as a whole. When they’re not helping their family in dozens of different ways (including providing childcare, doing chores and even offering financial support), they’re contributing in the community, whether that’s by interacting with the younger generation the way my neighbours did with me or by volunteering, something 78% of Canadian seniors currently do. [Read more…]