This year's Seniors' Week (June 1-7) is being celebrated in virtual, creative and all-together new ways from years past. The 34th edition of Seniors' Week is joined by a celebration of Intergenerational Day on June 1. This event promotes rich and sustainable connections between generations, and reduces ageism.
April Magee, Communications Assistant with the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council, said discussions around aging can be loaded with negativity due to the prevalence of ageism in our society.
"There can be a tendency to talk about “getting old” as a final destination without the chance for new growth or development. Age Friendly Edmonton rejects this narrative and is working to set the record straight by demonstrating that growing older can be a wonderful experience when people are empowered to age well," she said.
With some COVID-19 public health and safety measures still in place, traditional Seniors’ Week celebrations like large barbecues and teas are not possible. Prior to COVID-19, The Seniors Outreach Program Society in Three Hills was set to co-host the provincial launch of Seniors' Week 2020. That group will now host the 2021 launch event.
“Even if we can’t celebrate in person, I know Albertans will recognize and celebrate Seniors’ Week and Intergenerational Day. Seniors have provided a lifetime of service and lived through hard times. They have much to share with us. Let’s recognize those contributions and find new ways in these challenging times to celebrate the seniors in our lives – and all seniors," said Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing.
Communities across Alberta have made official Seniors’ Week declarations and are offering tips for people:
- Plan virtual intergenerational activities – such as dances, games, storytelling, interviews and family activities – and record them.
- Host a virtual event by leveraging technology such as Zoom, FaceTime or Skype.
- Send an old-fashioned letter or card.
- Continue to check in with seniors who are isolated.
- Offer to pick up groceries or run errands.
- Recognize seniors on social media accounts.
- Organize parades with people driving by seniors housing to wave.
- When ordering a meal, order a second one, send it to a senior, and enjoy it together online.
- Share what you’re doing for the seniors in your life using the #abseniors hashtag.
Age Friendly Edmonton is also offering a chance for seniors to share their stories. Visit GrowOlderWithMe.net or connect on social media using the #GrowOlderWithMe hashtag. Age Friendly Edmonton will continue accepting stories throughout the summer until July 12. As a small thanks for participating, the first 100 participants will receive a $5 Tim Horton’s gift card (some restrictions apply, see website for details). For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org