Next Week: ORANGE (Flowers, Produce, Candy, Signs, Clothing, Vehicles,...)
Aging populations are on the minds of governments and social planners all over the world. Note for example:
"The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is a large, national, long-term study that will follow approximately 50,000 men and women between the ages of 45 and 85 for at least 20 years. The study will collect information on the changing biological, medical, psychological, social, lifestyle and economic aspects of people’s lives. These factors will be studied in order to understand how, individually and in combination, they have an impact in both maintaining health and in the development of disease and disability as people age. The CLSA will be one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind undertaken to date, not only in Canada but around the world"
"Have dreams and goals and objectives for the future. ... Many people fall prey to 'I'm old, I'm old, I'm old.' No. If people assumed they were going to live the maximum life span of 122 years, they'd look differently at their 70s."
"Grandma had many more visitors of all ages. They seemed to arrive at all times of the day, and not one of them seemed to be there because they were worried that my grandma was lonely. They came because they loved seeing her, were seeking her advice, or just wanted to spend some time with someone with twinkling blue eyes and a big smile" Dale Hanson Bourke, Embracing Your Second Calling, pp. 193, 194.
"Our family can trace our spiritual roots back to this humble woman, and I like reminding my sons that one person's decisions can influence the next generation. We have so much, thanks to Grandma Hanson" Bourke, p. 196.
"A common principle of good management is, 'Begin with the end in mind.' The point is simply to know where you want to end up so you keep aiming in the right direction" Bourke p. 196.If our goal is to end up surrounded by friends and family like Grandma Hanson was, we'd do well to cultivate some of those friendships now, so that when we are old and alone, we're not reduced to frantically casting about for a lawyer, someone to go for a walk with, or names for the list of who to contact in an emergency.
We decided to take the Vesuvius ferry off Saltspring in order to land at Crofton on Vancouver Island so we could rendezvous with old friends Charlie and Leslie. They have been on this blog before. Way back in 2005 we visited them in their home in Telkwa and explored Prince Rupert together.
There is something reassuring and right-feeling about connecting with friends from the past. We've known C&L since 2003 when Charlie and I met at one of Nathan Harms' poetry gatherings in Edmonton. Since then we've kept in touch loosely via email and poetry until we visited them in 2005. They finally repaid our visit last summer just before they made the big decision to leave the north and settle on Vancouver Island.
Our visit to them this August included a tour of their beautiful church, St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church.
"Loneliness is unfortunately a common problem in older age, and a significant contributor to depression, as people lose their lifelong partners or become isolated when families move away. Many chronic diseases contribute to a decline in mobility which makes it harder for older people to get out of their homes and maintain contact and meaningful relationships with friends. Research suggests that at least one in ten of the elderly lead isolated and lonely lives, starved of emotional support as well as practical help."