Celebrating Ageing

I confess I have no idea who you are Trevor but as I was walking along the street I noticed this:

Congratulations to you Trevor for celebrating your 80th Year – what a milestone!

And Congratulations on having amazing family & friends who love you and want to acknowledge it to the world!

This is the first time I’ve seen a yard that celebrates its owner’s achievement of being an elder.

Love the rocking chairs,  peace out man.

On September 15th there was a panel discussion at the Toronto Public Reference Library with Jane Barratt, International Federation on Ageing, Glenn Miller, Canadian Urban Institute, and moderated by Susan Eng, CARP on “Ageing in the City – Is (Your city) an Age-Friendly Community?”

Here are some wonderful tidbits from the discussion:

  • Jane Barratt suggested that as we grow older, we continue to like to be connected – the need to be connected is true at any and every age.  She offered this question:  What kind of environment would enable you to do what you love to do? In a society of all ages, the emphasis is on enablement rather than disablement.
  • Putting the onus back on each of us, Jane said that it is each person’s responsibility to make (plug-in your city here) age-friendly.  She asked us a powerful question:  What are you going to do to make your city age-friendly?
  • Glenn Miller shared this quote by Bernard Isaacs, Founding Director of the Birmingham Centre for Applied Gerontology:  “Design for the young and you exclude the old; design for the old and you include the young.”

It was an engaging discussion that asked each of us to participate in making our communities and cities age-friendly.  What can become lost in conversations around ageism and ageing is that inaccessibility and disablement are stressful and this can age us.  Not having access to services is stressful and can age us.  Whether one is a mother with a stroller, a newcomer, an adult with an injury or illness, or an elder, when the environment does not enable us to do what we want or have to do, this is stressful and it ages us.

Trevor’s yard is one example of how people are making this city and world age-friendly.

What are you going to do?