Seniors’ Summer: an inter-generational narrative.

In our post May 22nd, we at Planet Longevity promoted a broader view on the celebration of Seniors’ Month in Ontario; our contribution, the theme “Inter-generational Opportunities: Things that Bond Us”. In fact, we said – why not make it a Seniors’ Summer?

The 2015 Ontario Seniors Secretariat Vibrant Seniors, Vibrant Communities theme at first glance suggests that we should all recognize, that if our senior population is vibrantly engaged, then the whole community benefits. This is true. As the Seniors Secretariat web site says: “We recognize the spirit of seniors . . . and encourage all Ontarians to participate in Seniors’ Month.”

Yet if you take a look at the various Ontario community Seniors’ Month event calendars published online; the activities, programs and information sessions on offer tend to speak directly to the core audience – Seniors. Seniors celebrating Seniors is a good thing. But you might be hard pressed to find much in the calendar listings and supporting visuals that suggests that this month invites any inter-generational interest or participation. At least not by immediate inference.

The Toronto Community Housing web site has a basic Seniors’ Month page with a link there to a group called Toronto Intergenerational Partnerships (TIGP) however the Upcoming Events page seems inactive at last check. TorontoCentralhealthline.ca posted a recent article by the folks at Mosaic Home Care which points in one paragraph to the importance . . .

“for all of us, seniors included to think of how we as a community can increase our interaction and our understanding of each other. Institutions, businesses, and individuals all have a role to play.”

This is the right message and maybe by the next time we get around to Seniors’ Month 2016 we’ll find a way to put out more firmly worded, outward facing messaging that encourages the benefits of an inter-generational exchange of ideas. If current younger generations are going to experience an even greater longevity, then the question could be; how do you make a conversation about the experience of a vibrant later life in a vibrant community relevant to them today?

That’s why we need more runway for this celebration – as we suggest a Seniors’ Summer. More time to create an inter-generational narrative.

 

Mark Venning

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