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Senior’s Week in High River

by Fawna Bews

This week is seniors’ week and whether you are someone whose roots run very deep in the community of High River [flash quiz – who’s the current longest living resident of High River? Please message us if you know] or one of the many people who choose High River as the perfect place to retire, we are so glad to have you here.  According to the Vital Signs report 2016  seniors make up 19% of High River’s population, that’s approximately 2500 seniors who call our town home.

The Town of High River values its senior and here are some of the formal resources available.

Informally I hope we are all doing our part to make sure the seniors on our block are checked in on and looked after. The strength of the community is enhanced when every generation is embraced.

The contribution of seniors is multifold and well put in this article:

“How do seniors contribute to society? Like any younger person, they shop, they use services (which employ people), and they pay taxes. They also volunteer; in fact, many organizations would be hard pressed to function without their older volunteers.

Seniors also give generously: they make more charitable donations per capita than any other age group.

Seniors babysit; they look after grandchildren. One can only imagine what would happen to our economy if, suddenly, no grandparents were available to look after grandchildren.  How many parents would have to scramble to find other care options (already scarce) — or would have to miss work because they couldn’t find alternatives? How many soccer games or ballet classes would be missed if grandma or grandpa were not there to drive the grandchildren?

Seniors do housework, home maintenance and yard work — not just for themselves, but for others as well. They provide transportation or run errands for others. They provide emotional support and friendship, like the senior who looks in on a house-bound friend to make sure that everything is alright and stays for a chat.

Seniors provide care for spouses or friends. Think of the wife who takes on more and more responsibilities in and outside the home as her husband starts to get frail. She may not think of herself as a caregiver, but without her, what would happen to him? Who would get the groceries, run errands, do the cooking, take him to medical appointments?

Other family members are not always available to help. They may live too far away or have health problems themselves. There are organizations that can help out — but the bulk of these supports are made possible because of volunteers.

And the volunteers are typically seniors.”

So seniors – this is your week, here are some of the events planned to honor and celebrate you.

Please everyone spread the word, we do not want anyone left out.

I challenge every citizen to do at least one thing this week to make a seniors life a little brighter, in doing so it will brighten yours too!

Here’s some ideas:

  • Get to know the seniors in your area! Listen, you’ll learn a thing or two
  • Help out with house or yardwork
  • Visit one of our seniors facilities in town
  • Run errands or help with transportation
  • Assist with technology
  • Acknowledge that they might have skills or knowledge that would help you
  • Have a block party – eat together J
  • Many senior spouses are caregivers, give them a break or be a little company
  • Volunteer with one of the many activities initiated by our town’s active seniors