Changing the conversation about aging

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the term "ageism" refers to two concepts

Sandra Holmes

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the term “ageism” refers to two concepts:

• a socially constructed way of thinking about older persons based on negative attitudes and stereotypes about aging; and

• a tendency to structure society based on an assumption that everyone is young, thereby failing to respond appropriately to the real needs of older persons.

To combat ageism it is necessary to raise public awareness about its existence and to dispel common stereotypes and misperceptions about aging.

With that in mind Wells Gray Country Seniors Society has undertaken a project to raise awareness of what it really means to be a senior living in Clearwater today.

In partnership with youth in Clearwater, seniors are learning new computer skills and how to use modern electronic devises.

The conversation changes from “It is too late for me to learn that new technology,” to, “Look, I have an email from my grandchild,” or, “Now I know how to see the family photos on Facebook.”

Becoming computer literate encourages seniors to continue to learn new skills. New skills promote continued brain function which encourages seniors to continue to look after their own interests with awareness and choice.

Aging is a highly individual process and many seniors continue to learn new skills throughout their lives.

– With the aid of a New Horizons for Seniors’ grant, Wells Gray Country Seniors Society brings awareness to seniors’ issues with a series of articles supporting WGCSS program called Seniors Taking Charge: Elder Abuse Prevention.