It’s recently been reported that Canadians are enjoying longer lifespans and better health than ever before. In fact, the proportion of seniors in the Canadian population is expected to double by 2025.
These seniors want to remain independent and to live in their own homes for as long as possible. As a result, workshops and conferences are being offered to inform the growing number of seniors about the availability of services for older adults and their caregivers.
The 55+ Seniors’ Expo, held at the Emo Legion last Wednesday (Sept. 24), was extremely well-received by district seniors. About 65 people attended the event, which showcased the services that are available locally.
Those on hand visited the various booths, which included the District Mental Health for Older Adults Program, the Rainy River District Substance Abuse Team Program, Melanie’s Footcare, the Emo End-of Life Care Program, Northwest Community Care Access Centre, the OPP’s “Drive Wise” program, and the Community Country Club.
“I’m really excited about the turnout,” enthused Megan Bale of the Emo-La Vallee-Chapple Healthy Communities Coalition, which sponsored the expo.
The coalition’s motto of “Promoting a healthy lifestyle within our communities” was extremely evident as each senior was greeted at the door with a bag of treats, which included a lid opener from the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat, a memo pad, a safety handbook from the older adults program, a “Falls Prevention” brochure from the federal government, and information sheets from the Emo “Meals on Wheels” program and the district handivan service.
The seniors, plus the volunteers and display participants, also enjoyed an excellent lunch of soup and sandwiches provided by the Emo Legion kitchen staff.
Following lunch, Bale introduced a couple of speakers who gave further explanations concerning their displays. Grace Silander spoke about medication safety, and each senior was given a medication records card.
Silander encouraged everyone to list the medications they are taking and to carry the card, either in their wallet or purse, at all times.
“This will assist first responders and hospital staff to deal with your medication needs during an emergency,” she explained.
Fort Frances OPP Cst. Anne McCoy then explained a program called “Drive Wise.” This is a course which assists seniors in dealing with the stress of retaking the driver’s test.
Anyone aged 50 and over is encouraged to give Cst. McCoy a call so she can organize a workshop for those interested in improving their driving skills.
The 55+ Seniors’ Expo concluded with a skit that illustrated the frustrations and difficulties of aging.
Pam Bujold, Trudy Badiuk, Sherri Byma, Neila Booth, Becky Chabot, Robin McCormick, and Freeda Carmody made excellent use of humour to remind those on hand that everyone eventually will reach this stage in their life—and that the best way to handle the difficulties is to maintain a healthy sense of humour.
Thanks to the organizers, presenters, and those who took the time to attend the expo for making this year’s event such a great success.