Submitted by FCSS
“If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.”
That famous quote is just as relevant today as it was back then. Certainly, there are not many better ways to learn where you’ve come from than speaking with a senior citizen.
With that in mind, Family and Community Support Services is offering a couple of unique opportunities to connect with Taber’s senior population on the International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP).
This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and the 30th Anniversary of the day designed to celebrate the contributions of older adults. The day also aims to recognize those who support seniors and raise awareness of the concerns of older adults.
On Oct. 1 in Taber, FCSS will be celebrating International Day of the Older Person by hosting a live, online workshop at 10 a.m.
“We are hosting it through Zoom,” said Cindy Lauwen, FCSS volunteer services co-ordinator. “We’re asking people to pre-register.”
The Zoom link with be posted on the FCSS website at http://www.fcss.ca, and on the organization’s social-media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
“We’re asking the lodges to also join in and watch us, kind of like a watch party. It’s the first time we’ve done this, so we’ll see how it goes.”
FCSS Seniors Services has also partnered with the Taber Public Library and Taber Irrigation Impact Museum to host a story-telling session for seniors to join to share their stories, memories, experiences and knowledge about fall and harvest. That will take place later in the day on Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.
“They love to share their stories, memories and experiences of days gone by,” said Lauwen, who added the Taber Irrigation Impact Museum’s Karen Ingram will help kick off the afternoon by providing a little background on the history of the area.
Pre-registration is required for the afternoon event at the library. Those interested in participating can call 403-223-4343 to register.
And while International Day of the Older Person is a great opportunity to learn from seniors in your community, there are many innovative opportunities to not onlyconnect with but to also support our seniors.
“Make an audio or video call, email or send a handwritten letter to check in,” said Lauwen, who added online family dinners, virtual games nights and pen-pal programs are other great ways to connect.
COVID-19 has certainly changed the way we interact but it can also be an opportunity, according to Lauwen.
“Offer help – now is a great time to spread some cheer in your community,” she said, as offering to assist with grocery or prescription purchases, organizing yard clean-up for seniors and dropping off goodie baskets at seniors’ homes are just a few ways to help out.
But helping seniors in the community is just part of the equation, as Lauwen added older adults have a lot of knowledge to share as well. Locals can tap into that knowledge in several creative ways.
“Interview seniors and capture their stories, history and traditions,” said Lauwen, who added families could even host a virtual story-telling evening and invite seniors to share.
A parking-lot party, a physically-distanced dance or music performance outside a senior’s lodge or complex are other great ways to connect with seniors.
For more ideas or how to connect with seniors in your community, or how to celebrate International Day of Older Persons, contact Lauwen at firstname.lastname@example.org