age-friendly, Awards, Events

Age-Friendly Award Comes Home

IMG_0551

The second annual Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award was presented to the City of Saskatoon in council chambers on January 27th, 2019. Presented by Saskatoon Council on Aging [SCOA] Age-Friendly Co-chair Candace Skrapek, the award recognizes the city for its commitment to working to provide an inclusive environment for older adults and supporting age-friendly environments that help seniors age actively.

On December 3, 2019, the City of Saskatoon received the award from the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism (SSM) in the provincial Legislature’s fall sitting.

The work that brought this about was the Age-Friendly Saskatoon Initiative [AFSI] project. Led by SCOA, the multiyear project aimed at community change to establish Saskatoon as an age-friendly city. The City of Saskatoon plays a key role to establish clear policy directions for the programs and services needed by older adult citizens.

“By 2025, one-quarter of Saskatoon’s population will be over the age of 65. Planning for this growing, older population is critical.” 1

The city collaborated with the project and implemented some of its outcomes.

To create an age-friendly community, society’s attitudes must shift toward a positive view of aging and older adults. If older adults have opportunities to participate in social and community activities, they maintain connections to other people and the community which contributes to improved quality of life. Due to the enthusiasm, expertise and countless hours provided by older adult volunteers, the AFSI succeeded in its efforts to positively change community conversations about an aging population in Saskatoon.

The City of Saskatoon continues to demonstrate its commitment to this great community work. Following the completion of AFSI in 2017, the City of Saskatoon was granted full membership in the World Health Organization Global Age-friendly Cities Network.

The City of Saskatoon Strategic Plan, 2013 – 2023 identifies “development of age-friendly initiatives to enhance quality of life as people age” 2 as a priority under Quality of Life Strategic Goal.

SCOA looks forward to continuing collaboration to make Saskatoon a truly age-friendly city.  A commitment to respect and inclusion is a true measure of a society’s support for the quality of life of all of its citizens. This latest award marks one more achievement on the journey to an age-friendly Saskatoon.

For further information, contact SCOA 306.652.2255 or visit  our our website
Age-Friendly Saskatoon Initiative:

Read Candace Skrapek’s presentation speech to Saskatoon City Council:
City Council Award 2020

age-friendly, Classes, Lifelong Learning, Technology

Apple Tech classes – iPhone & iPad

IOS 12/13 Apple operating system

Mystified with the Apple system update (IOS 12/13) Having troubles with photos stored on the “Cloud”? Small group class sessions with 5 people per class – register early.

IOS System Update 12/13
Tuesday, Feb 4 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm  Cost: $20
To register, phone 306.652.2255 or visit our office SCOA, 2020 College Drive[Field House]

age-friendly, Events, fundraising

Grand Old Opry Zoomer Style – Meet St. George’s Senior Country Band

stgeorgesseniorsband
St. George’s Senior Country Band

This group of seniors met at St George’s Hall [1235 20th St. West, Saskatoon] where they have a “jam” twice a month so that older adults have a place to come to play and sing. Some of this group formed a band and often play at senior residences.

  • Bill Senkowski is 86, and has sung and played guitar since he was 10. He loves Hank Williams, George Jones and Hank Thompson.
  • Walter Wandzura has played the mandolin for forty years, and the violin now for ten years.
  • Lucretia Hughes has been singing with country and gospel bands since she was 10, and now enjoys entertaining in seniors’ residences.
  • Olaf Dravnieks played in a rock band in his youth, and now plays rock and classical music, and for the last half year some country music.
  • Bruce Forcey took up music later in life. He recently moved to Saskatoon, and has joined the local band Lucretia & Friends.
  • Wayne Love came back to music in senior years and joined band Lucretia and Friends

Grand Old Opry “Zoomer Style”
March 27, 2020
Western Development Museum
Enjoy a gala evening of country and western music presented by a talented roster of seasoned performers.
Doors open 5 pm Cash Bar
Supper 6 pm,  Entertainment 7:30  pm
Tickets: $100 [tax receipts issued $65]

Phone 306.652.2255 pay with credit card
Buy online at Eventbrite
Visit our office in the field house – 2020 College Drive

A fundraiser for the Saskatoon Council on Aging to provide health and wellness programs for older adults.

 

 

 

age-friendly, Programming

Survey Results: The Gift of a Long life

Abstract: The Gift of a Long Life Survey

Increasingly people are living into their 90s and 100s and beyond. This is a fairly new happening sometimes referred to as “pioneering again”. The Saskatoon Council on Aging (SCOA) Communication Committee decided to ask the (200+) Century Club members (must be 90 to join) about pioneering/living into the 90s and 100s. Thirty (30) members responded to the survey. The survey was looking for evidence of pioneering, breaking new ground; what it found was strong evidence of positive aging. 

SCOA’s Vision is Positive Aging for All. Positive aging involves a view of aging as a healthy, normal part of life. Those who age positively, tend to live longer, healthier lives and enjoy a better quality of life.   The object is to arrive at our older years with a positive attitude, feeling good about ourselves, making our own choices, feeling in control, keeping fit and healthy and maintaining social networks. Obviously this also takes good genes, adequate resources, an age-friendly environment and a bit of luck!  

Responders to the survey offered a variety of thoughtful comments, but essentially most are continuing their life journeys to the best of their abilities. Most responders have accepted their life stage although some expressed regret. They identify as alert, active, engaged individuals who are mostly maintaining the lives and interests they have always known. Many noted that despite the advancing years, “I am still the same person!” They are motivated live a well-balanced lifestyle in order to remain well and mobile. Of those who have health and mobility issues, most do not dwell on the physical inconveniences that aging brings and appear satisfied with their quality of life.  A few noted they need to prepare for the future, to have their house in order. A positive attitude is probably their greatest strength.   

Concerns centered largely on losses: loss of independence (giving up the car, the home), mobility, family, friends and opportunity. The loss of the ability to care for self is most significant because it results in the need for care and support.  A few expressed financial worries.  Those living independently now wish to remain so for as long as possible. Many respondents live in senior residences. Daily contact with other residents and staff is mostly appreciated. However, some find congregate living quite difficult at least at the beginning. Having a lot of people around who are mostly strangers with lots of ‘coming and going’ takes some adjusting. 

Thanks to the members of the Century Club who responded for giving us a glimpse of life in the 90s and 100s and to remind us that a long life well-lived is truly a gift. As one respondent noted, “Life is good!” 

Members of the Saskatoon Council on Aging’s Century Club were surveyed for their thoughts about growing older. The Century Club is a special club for older adults 90 and over who are determined to live as full a life as possible.
The following are the thoughts they shared.

  1. How are you pioneering/ living life in your 90s and 100s?

  • Most say they are doing well, carrying on as independently as possible and doing their best to live a ‘normal’ life.  It’s Important to be happy, to enjoy what you do, and what you still can do on your own to the best of your abilities. There’s more time now to appreciate family. Also, there’s freedom to do what you choose, not what others say you should. It’s okay to slow down, to not participate in everything but should keep up your interests. Use mobility and other aids available to remain independent.
  • Dealing with loneliness, coming to terms with loss and accepting help is difficult.
  • This is a time of transitions: from home to senior’s residence, from being fully independent to needing support, from good health to failing health. Being reconciled to possible future needs makes it easier to move to support accommodation.
  • Living arrangements vary. Some live independently in their original home or a condo. Moving is a most significant event. Others say they are living  ‘independently’ in a senior’s residence which means they look after their own needs, usually make their own breakfasts and lunches and take the dinner the residence offers. Senior residences offer a wide range of activities that seem popular and keep people up and about, active, and making new friends. People contact is mostly appreciated.
  •   One respondent noted difficulty in finding wearable clothes – the ‘new’ styles are “not easy to adapt to”.

2.  What new challenges have you encountered, both positive and negative?

  • On the positive side, being able to look after own affairs, not having to do heavy physical work and having fewer responsibilities for yard and home.
  • Finding productive ways to use the free time that is available now, keeping active, learning new games, exercising, getting out and doing things are some positive challenges. The positive attitude of support staff is appreciated.
  • On the negative side, getting used to congregate living is a huge challenge; With so many people around, coming and going, especially when you don’t know their names is difficult.
  • Some express frustration with so much technology; e.g. have difficulty ordering the taxi/access bus.
  • Regarding transportation: giving up the car is a huge transition and the major cause of loss of independence. The inconvenience and reluctance of having to depend on others for transportation and being unable to travel at will is mentioned often.
  • The fear of loss of mobility, becoming a burden on others, is on many minds as is the challenge of adjusting to physical and mental limitations – preferably without complaining! Finding the right size and style of clothing seems a common problem,

3. How are you adapting to a longer life and what if anything are you doing differently?

  • Respondents described how they have adapted – some examples:
  • I cut down on a few of the many things done for years but basically continue with most of former involvements
  • Doing things I enjoy, also enable me to exercise to help with my health. I do what I can. I don’t expect to do as much as I did when younger. I keep busy and happy. I love company and I try to do the best and take care of myself I really can’t think of any major changes I have had to make
  • I have developed a fitness triad of trying to spend one hour a day in exercising each of my physical, mental and spiritual dimensions.
  • Finance is of great concern, outliving resources. (Actually, finances were seldom mentioned in the survey responses.)

4. What have you changed about yourself?

  • Not much change was reported, rather continuing as before and accepting themselves as they are now. Some feel they are more tolerant, others more outspoken but the common response is that “I’m still the same person as always”. Much more appreciative of all things around us like our country, medical care, friends and family, etc., and doing things to please themselves more often.

5. What new goals have you set for yourself?

  • A few new goals were reported, but most want to continue with what they are doing now – exercise, healthy eating, remaining positive and improving technical skills. Goals mentioned seem to depend on past living- more of this or that, carrying on,  but keeping in mind the need to be prepared for the future including  writing own obituary, getting affairs in order, culling and making order of possessions, helping friends and family, and being grateful for many blessings.

6. What advice would you give to someone in their 60s or 70s about living into the 90s?

Here is some of the advice shared:

  • Establish a healthy life style
  • Enjoy the life you are living in now. Remember old times and keep in touch with other old friends and family of course!
  • Do not stash away miscellaneous items that accumulate more and more until you find out you are becoming a hoarder
  • Enjoy each and every day
  • Enjoy your independence and don’t take it for granted, things changes.
  • Firstly, develop and maintain a positive outlook on life- you’ll find everything about life more enjoyable. If you have been an active volunteer, keep doing it. Don’t give up any hobbies or other activities. In other words, stay active, get lots of exercise, and you will certainly enjoy your retirement.
  • Life is sooo short, so prepare now!
  • Keep enjoying the day, socialize with good friends, enjoy the outdoors, keep mobile, watch your diet and celebrate every birthday and anniversary! Avoid people who are negative or make you feel unworthy. Embrace friends who are happy, reliable, and resilient.
  • Save money for your retirement – you can’t save too much.

7. What do you like about your life now?

The life now is the life they have made for themselves. The resources that senior’s residences offer are welcomed and used. The support, whether from family or the staff of the residence, is needed and appreciated. It’s most important that family visits and those relationships are maintained. Many like not having responsibilities and being free to do whatever they wish, and especially, being alive and well and able to participate in activities and being with friends.

8. What do you not like about your life now?

Some typical comments: 

  • Too often, after I’ve met new people and after they find out my date of birth, they act as if I’m totally incapable of any activity, mental or physical!! 
  • I struggle with the loss of independence. Things I used to take for granted now demand so much more energy and/or the assistance of others. 
  • Still miss my car!
  • I’m not as strong and agile as I used to be and my decreasing physical power. 
  • Taking my age into consideration – nothing!

9. Life is for living. What do you do to live to the fullest?

 Respondents shared some ways to keep themselves alert, active, interested and engaged: 

  • I surround myself with people. Always interesting! 
  • I seek out good books. I enjoy happy music and I subscribe to Turner Classic Movies. Best of all I look for happy people who bolster my self-esteem and make me laugh.
  • I have developed a fitness triad of trying to spend one hour a day in exercising each of my physical, mental and spiritual dimensions.  And, I spend more time at computer learning how to use it and expanding my world of interests. Keeping in touch with our expanding family adds joy. 
  • I keep in touch with my five children and their mates. As the grandchildren grow older, our friendship and love grows stronger. I’m getting to see some of my grandchildren getting married and working hard for their futures. 

10. Anything else you would like to share?

Enjoy living, keep a sense of humour, don’t allow yourself to get lonely, cultivate the happiness habit, do what makes you feel good, offer thanks for living where we do, and remember that Life is Good!

age-friendly, Events

Grand Old Opry “Zoomer Style” News

Meet our Grand Old Opry Zoomer Style Finalists!

Join us for the Grand Old Opry Zoomer Style! Enjoy an exciting night of fun as our finalists perform in a country and western showcase.  Cheer on and vote for your favourite performer!

stgeorgesseniorsband
St. George’s Senior Country Band
shuboy
Shuboy
royboy
Roy Hargreaves
paddlewheelers
Paddlewheelers
klynne
Joseph Klynne
johnquinn
John Quinn

Spectacle_lowres
Spectacle

 

March 27, 2020 – Western Development Museum 
Doors open 5 pm Cocktails
Supper 6 pm
Performances 7:30 pm
Tickets: $100  on sale Dec. 1

  1. Buy with credit card by phone 306.652.2255

  2. Buy with credit card online scoa.ca

  3. Buy at our office 2020 College Drive.  We accept cash, cheques or credit card.

     

    Partial tax receipts issued. 

 

Classes, Lifelong Learning, Programming

Watercolour Saskatoon Berry Card

saskatoonberrycardPaint plump berries on a branch against an abstract background, on watercolour paper. Your picture will be greeting card size, perfect to send to a special friend, Cecilia will walk you through the process. All supplies included.

Date: September 24, 2018 (3hrs) 1pm-4pm

Cost: $50 per class. Class fees must be paid in advance.

Phone 306-652-2255 to register.

Classes, Lifelong Learning, Programming

An Introduction to Birding

animal-3434123_1280

This course will help you get started in birding.
To develop identification skills, you will learn how to use field marks, song,
behavior and habitat in identifying birds. We review binoculars, field guides and smartphone apps that will enhance your birding experience and discuss the opportunities that abound in Saskatoon to make birding an enjoyable activity for you. No experience or equipment is required, but if you have a bird field guide please bring it with you.
The3rd session will be held outdoors at a city park.

Dates: Tuesdays, September 4, 11 & 18 (2hrs) 2:00 – 4:00 Cost: $30

Phone SCOA at 306-652-2255 to register. Class fees must be paid in advance.