Who me? I’m not a senior. I am only 74, and that’s not old. Well, let’s stop and think about this.
According to the government, I am. They started sending me my pension when I turned 65. According to many shops, I am because they started offering me the “senior discount” when I reached 55.
Should we be willing to accept that we are seniors just because someone says so? When I first joined the Ladysmith Seniors Centre Society, I resisted because the organization, I felt, was for “old people,” and I didn’t feel old.
How you think about your age has to do with your state of mind. Age is not only chronological, but is psychological. Most older people feel that we are 10, 20, 30 years younger than that of our established biological age. This is why many of us still participate in social and physical actives that are often associated with younger people, like bike riding, hiking and fitness classes. We may not go about it as strenuously, but we do pretty well at it.
As we gain more life experiences over time, we slowly realize that we can be the stabilizing influence for our families and our community. We can help those who seek out our advice, and we should be willing to share our experiences freely.
In today’s youth-orientated society, we are often fighting the realization that we are getting older. Getting older is not a bad thing; it is giving us a chance to take pride in our accomplishments, be they family or our past work life.
With ageing, we see many of our old friends and our family less and less, and in too many cases, we lose these connections. This is where organizations like the Senior Centre can be a great asset. Through them, you have an opportunity to engage with others of similar age and activity level. It can become a conduit for making friends and keeping in touch with our older community.
Another organization that many of our retired older citizens enjoy is the Ladysmith Healthcare Auxiliary. Ladysmith also has an active Probus Club, which encourages retired or semiretired people to meet at social gatherings, meals and monthly meetings, with various guest speakers. With a capacity of 125 members, the Ladysmith Probus is so popular that it has had to create a waitlist.
As I see it, the bottom-line is, for me, to accept that we are the age we are. Senior Week is June 2-8. But why not embrace your age and take advantage of what it offers you, be it shopping discounts or the opportunity to be a mentor to family, or your community.
Ladysmith Lions are active seniors.
Photo: Rob Johnson