There are more older Canadians than ever before, and more of us are speaking out about what we want to live joyful and safe lives as we age. One startling statistic is that over-85s are one of the fastest-growing cohorts in Canada and the 2021 census shows that the number of those age 85 and over is expected to triple in the next 25 years. No question, we’re concerned as we ponder our future.
Joyce Wayne has been writing about social issues, business and culture for forty years.
This year she is publishing her second novel, Last Night of the World, a spy thriller about Soviet spies operating in Canada during World War II. Joyce is also the author of The Cook’s Temptation. An award-winning journalist, Joyce is most interested in the stories of men and women trying to thrive in challenging circumstances.
Here, she is exploring matters relevant to the lives of retirees and soon-to-be-retirees facing the rapidly changing circumstances of the new retirement.
Joyce Wayne: Retirement Matters
During our lives, and mainly as we grow older, Personal Support Workers (PSWs), could play increasingly significant roles in maintaining our health, comfort and happiness. During Covid, we’ve learned just how crucial PSWs are to the health care system. The difference between ample staffing and professional training of PSWs often made the difference between life and death for older Canadians relying on caring health support.
No one wishes to extend masking requirements beyond their usefulness. The big question is: how do we know when masks can be avoided, and how does each individual decide what is best for them? It appears that there isn’t a blanket, one-size-fits-all answer, and that’s where a little research, discussions with health providers and a hefty dollop of good sense can make a difference. Suppose you’re like me, over 65 years of age, with underlying health conditions, or you are immunocompromised. In that case, the guidance you’re looking for is probably not found under the blanket lifting of mask restrictions.
Geriatric psychiatrist Marc Agronin begins his latest book The End of Old Age: Living a Longer More Purposeful Life with an epigraph by the painter Henri Matisse. This one sentence epigraph essentially describes the purpose of his book: how to appreciate and make the most of growing older. Dr. Agronin writes: “Aging brings strength,” which for most of us is the very opposite of how we regard getting older.” As long as I can recall, aging meant decline; it meant limiting the experiences of our aging selves and perpetuating an ageist culture. In his daring book, Agronin suggests strategies to consider aging as a positive, purposeful time in life. “We must learn how to age in a creative manner that is both the antidote to feeling old and the elixir of aging well.”
First, Mansbridge asked Ranson to describe what aging in place means. “That’s easy,” replied Ranson. “You get to stay in your house for as long as you wish.” Mansbridge suggested that most homes in Canada were built for more than two people, but now it appears that older Canadians want to stay in that same home. Ranson replied by saying, “I love my house. When my kids get married, I think about hosting receptions for them. Our home will always be where they can come back for family events, birthdays, Christmas, and other holidays.
Detective Constable Kristin Thomas, has been with the Toronto Police Services for 23 years. She is an experienced fraud investigator working in the Financial Crimes Unit, Corporate Crimes Section. According to Constable Thomas, the fraudsters’ scams play to the victims’ loneliness –and with one thing leading to another, they develop into romance. To avoid falling into the elaborate traps set by these predators, Thomas suggests being extra careful about what you post online or how you word your profile. Most victims never even meet their predator face to face. If you think you are being scammed, Thomas suggests getting support from friends, family, or your doctor. it’s essential to look for the signs of fraud that Constable Thomas describes and learn how to quickly recognize these signs and reach out for help.
Rachel and Martha decided to take retirement for a test drive. The women embarked on a journey of “Not Working,” while travelling for 95 days across America. It worked out so well that four years ago Martha and Rachel decided to retire —while in their late fifties. They started thinking about making environmentally conscious upgrades to their bungalow and arranged for a CHIP Reverse Mortgage. They both see the loan as a good investment in their home and a smart way to live the life they love.
Now technology provides the older generation with ever more inventions to make our days more pleasant, less lonely and more purpose-driven. There’s a new platform called Papa, which provides us with “family on demand.” According to its website, papa.com offers “a hand to help, a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen –supporting elder adults and families with how and where they want to live: at home. Papa and our Papa Pals represent a new category of care, to quite literally meet our members where they are. With true help unbounded by the real limitations of today’s health care system. Papa is aimed at the social determinants of health, including loneliness and isolation, transportation access, technology and health care literacy, and more.”
Ziomecki has worked at HomeEquity Bank for eight years, expertly raising the profile of the company. She has helped to make reverse mortgages a trusted option for older Canadians and their families. She’s deeply committed to how a CHIP Reverse Mortgage can make life more prosperous, safer and more enjoyable for Canadians 55 years and older. She describes writing her book as an act of love. Home Run offers expert advice and reliable information to those looking for a secure, comfortable and gratifying way to age in place.
Since the Covid crisis in long-term care, our ideas of how best to age have altered dramatically. In fact, 93 percent of Canadians are now reporting that they plan to remain in their own homes for as long as possible, but we may be financially unprepared for a safe and comfortable retirement at home. The big question facing us is how to make aging in place a reality. During a recent webinar hosted by the Empire Club of Canada and sponsored by HomeEquity Bank, journalist and author Peter Mansbridge moderated a panel of red-letter experts on aging. It featured Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, Director of Financial Security Research at the National Institute on Ageing, Dr. Samir K. Sinha, Director of Geriatrics at Sinai Health System and the University Health Network and Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO at CanAge.
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