Celebrating our older adults in October
2015 as Seniors’ and Elders’ Month in Manitoba. This being my first year cel- ebrating Seniors’ and Elders’ Month in a min- isterial capacity, I would like to begin with a quote by humanist and social change activist Betty Friedan: “Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” I believe the insight contained in these words (written some five to seven decades ago), is more relevant now than ever before. At no other time in history have older adults had the oppor- tunities they do today – from health to financial independence; from medical advancements to holistic healing; from access to knowledge and information to business and recreational options. ‘New stage’ is now here
A I’m sure you’ve heard the expression:
“50 is the new 40”, “70 is the new 60” and so on. The reason this expression has caught on is because it’s true. People today – in particular, older adults – are more intent on looking after themselves and taking advantage of these 21st cen- tury opportunities to live longer, health- ier lives. Over the past year, I have met with the
leaders of many seniors’ organizations from around the province. What has impressed me most is the passion they demonstrate for their communities and the people they serve. I believe Mani- toba’s older adults are seeing Friedan’s “new stage of opportunity and strength” and are eager to make their communi- ties the best they can be for Manitobans, now and for generations to come. Octo- ber is the time to showcase their achieve- ments and recognize the many contribu- tions older adults continue to make to our province. I was excited and honoured to par-
ticipate in the 2015 Seniors’ and Elders’ Day celebration in Winnipeg to pro-
s Minister of Healthy Living and Seniors, it is my honour and privilege to recognize October
Our older population recognizes these times as Betty Friedan’s ‘new age of opportunity and hope’, and has set out to contribute to their communities accordingly.
claim, and kick off, Manitoba Seniors’ and Elders’ Month. Seniors helped build this province and paved the way for the many privileges we enjoy today. This month, I encourage all Manitobans to recognize our seniors’ contributions – wheth- er it’s through a public event or a single act that brightens a senior’s life. It can be as simple as
Hon. Deanne Crothers Minister’s Message
calling a grandparent or elder, or as complex as organizing a community breakfast. I also invite schools to get students involved through projects like arranging a trip to a senior centre or making posters to hang in their community.
Seniors have a positive economic impact
Here are some of the ways the par- ticipation of seniors benefits Manitoba’s economy: • Many of Manitoba’s local businesses
are owned and operated by seniors. Over two-fifths of employed Manitobans age 65 and older are self-employed. • Seniors make more charitable do-
nations per capita than any other age group. (In 2007, 91 per cent of Manito- bans, age 65 and older, made charitable donations totalling more than $87 mil- lion.) • In the same year, older Manitobans
spent more than 14 million hours in un- paid volunteer activities. These statistics are from The Profile of Manitoba Seniors, 2010. Centre on Ag- ing, University of Manitoba. Seniors are a vital part of our commu-
nity and it is important to recognize and celebrate their continuing contributions. That’s what Seniors’ and Elders’ Month is all about! I invite you to contact the seniors in- formation line for more information on Seniors’ and Elders’ Month, or if you have questions, comments or concerns about any other issue. Call 204-945- 6565 in Winnipeg; toll free 1-800-665- 6565.
Hon. Deanne Crothers is Manitoba Minister of Healthy Living and Seniors.
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Celebrating Seniors’ and Elders’ Month
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