Older Canadians appreciate the value of staying active and productive. We can only applaud this. But as life expectancy increases in Canada, so should the determination to make the retirement years safe as possible.
November 6 to 12 marks National Senior Safety Week, an annual event started by the Canada Safety Council to raise awareness of the risks seniors are more apt to encounter. Of course, the health risks associated with getting older top the list, notably falls resulting from uneven surfaces. But the council also underscores issues connected with medication, grief and loneliness, emotional and physical violence, and the growing risk of fraud via the Internet.
In light of all this, what can we do? First, we have to get educated about these various dangers ourselves. Then we need to share that knowledge with the older adults in our lives. This may not be easy, as seniors are more used to giving advice – not necessarily taking it. It is generally recommended that you let a third party do the talking. Contacting the Canada Safety Council or CARP are good places to start for resources.
Older Canadians have earned our gratitude for their contributions to our personal lives, not to mention the generous and inclusive society we enjoy. We owe it to them and to ourselves to ensure they remain as safe as possible.
In that light, we’d like also like to underscore the achievements of our retired OPSEU members, who gave so much to make OPSEU the great force for fairness and opportunity it is today – and who continue to contribute through the Retired Members Division. You inspire us to work ever harder to protect the great labour legacy you helped to build.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU
First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida