BY TERRENCE MCEACHERN
NOVEMBER 30, 2013
As our population continues to get older, so too is the desire to get elderly people more active in the community and raise awareness about elder abuse and ageism.
"As they age and no longer go to work, people sometimes get the impression that their best-before date has passed, and we don't need to pay any attention to them or include them in things that are happening in the community," said Kerrie Strathy, division head at the University of Regina's Lifelong Learning Centre. "But in an age-friendly community, there will be opportunities for older adults to remain active through social and recreational programs (and) volunteer activities," she added.
"This initiative is based on the knowledge that older adults in Regina have a wide range of skills and abilities to offer their community."
On Friday, the centre's Age-Friendly Community Project received $24,750 in funding from Richmond MP Alice Wong, minister of state for seniors.
By having elderly people engaged in the community through social and volunteer activities, the goal is to help improve their health and well-being and deal with issues such as isolation and lack of opportunities. As well, the project aims to raise awareness about elderly abuse and try to eliminate ageism by bringing young adults and elderly people together.
"We're hoping that by younger people working together with older people they can eliminate the myths of ageism from both ends and everyone will be in a stronger position in the community," said Wong.
The one-year project ends in April. Moving forward, Strathy said she would like to funding continue and issues such as better sidewalks and housing available for seniors be addressed.
"I think (Regina) City Council has heard some of these issues before, but to make sure that they really do come across clearly. So, when the city is planning what it is going to do, both in terms of infrastructure repair but also looking at new (construction), that it takes into consideration things that will make it easy for people to get around," she said.
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