Canada is facing unprecedented demographic change, particularly in the area of population aging. According to statistics on the anticipated changes in Canada’s population, the number of people aged 65 or more could double in the next 20 years. In the eastern area of the Fraser Valley, seniors already comprise over 20 per cent of the total population.
This demographic shift will bring unprecedented, complex challenges in personal finance, employment, mobility and transportation, housing, health and illness… as the baby boom generation moves into old age. In 2012, the District of Kent completed a process to define the key areas of focus to ensure this community is “age-friendly” so that it can help seniors maintain healthy, active, and productive lives.
For the first time, the community will be hosting a Seniors Health and Wellness Fair on Thursday, Sept. 18 at Cheam Village from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In attendance to make oral presentations will be the B.C. Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, representatives from I.C.B.C., the R.C.M.P., Workplace B.C. and a local dietitian and physician. As well, over 20 organizations will have displays and take-home information which focuses on topics relevant to seniors in this community. There will be door prizes and, best of all, a free lunch for those who register. The number to call if you intend to attend the lunch is 604-796-8891.
But, even if you cannot come for lunch, you are invited to attend one or all of the day’s sessions. Currently, it is expected that after the 10 a.m. opening remarks, the Fitness Center will do a demonstration, to be followed by Workplace B.C. at 10:30 a.m., the Seniors Advocate at 11 a.m., lunch at 12 p.m., ICBC at 1 p.m., and the R.C.M.P. At 1:30 p.m. The day will close with a 2:30 p.m. presentation by a local physician who will address issues specific to the seniors population.
Seniors themselves and society in general benefit from positive and active aging. For seniors, an active lifestyle can prolong independence, extend participation in the labour force and the community, help manage chronic illnesses and prevent poor health. Positive and active aging also has a positive impact on Canadian society. Seniors also play an important role in the economy through participation in the workforce and as consumers. Seniors make a significant contribution to the community through volunteer work and support to family and others. Your attendance at the Seniors Health and Wellness Fair may provide you with the information and sources of resources to help you age positively.