WHAT ?!?! The relationship between age and leisure… Tiffany Moore
The role of leisure in aging
Statistics of the aging population
Debunking myths and stereotypes
Challenges in life & leisure
The other side of the story:
- How young people are viewed by seniors
6. Suggestions for better interactions with seniors
8. Quick quiz, reflection and questions
Senior : “An elderly person, especially over 65.”
The Oxford Canadian Dictionary
Elderly : “Rather old, past middle age.”
The Oxford Canadian Dictionary
Ulyssean Adult : “Individuals who continue to seek new adventures and opportunities in their later years.”
John McLeish, 1976
ULYSSES This Greek king is the prototype for the concept of the Ulyssean Adult
HEALTHY ACTIVE FUN GROWTH EXCITEMENT ULYSSEAN LIVING LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX! ENJOYABLE SOCIAL POSITIVE OPTIMISTIC ADVENTURE
The senior group is the fastest growing demographic in Canada:
In 1981, The population of seniors was 1.4 million
In 2031, the population of seniors is expected to be 4.8 million (15%)
- In 2056, the population of seniors is expected to be 27% of the total population
The senior group is largely comprised of
immigrants and visible minorities:
28% of seniors are immigrants
14.7% of seniors belong to a visible minority
39% of these are Chinese
The senior group is capable of living daily life:
87% of people over 65 are able to cope with the demands of everyday living
90% of seniors hold a religion. 50% attend service at least once per month
27% of seniors have computers and use the Internet
SERIOUSLY?? Debunking the myths of old age
Older people are always sick:
- People are living longer and healthier lives than ever before.
- 3800 people aged 55 and older participated in the BC Senior’s Games in 2008.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks:
(Older people are set in their ways and can’t learn anything new)
- Learning is a lifelong process. There is a continuous increase in participation through ElderCollege and other community
The lights are on, but no one is home:
(Older people have dementia and can’t remember things)
- Only 1 in 11 seniors have dementia or other mental health problems.
Older people don’t have anything to contribute to society.
- 46,500 seniors were employed in the Alberta labour force in 2007.
- Many more are actively involved in volunteer activities in their communities.
Adopting a positive mentality towards seniors and pushing aside
negative stereotypes can go a long way towards improving the quality of interactions with seniors.
Some examples of positive stereotypes:
Kind and warm
Have great wisdom
Well off financially
A powerful political force
Free to do whatever they want
Old age is full of peace and serenity
CHALLENGES IN LIFE & LEISURE
- Social network becomes smaller: Friends and loved ones move away,
participate in fewer social activities, or pass away.
- Life expectancy sometimes decreases after the loss of a loved one.
- With a smaller support group, some seniors may be less active and more
- Mental processes slow with age; some seniors need more time to adapt.
- Technology is a new concept that may be a great challenge.
- Bank machines, automated gas pumps, and finding information are all
more difficult for people who are not used to them.
Body functions reach maximum capacity during early adulthood and
decline gradually thereafter.
Speed of life has increased, and getting around in a rushing world can
be a great challenge for seniors who have slowed down or have challenges with mobility.
Traffic has increased and roadways have become more complex, causing a challenge with driving.
- Married couples enjoy the greatest income of all seniors.
- 24% of men over the age of 65 earn employment income.
- Less support from government programs, combined with an increase in
assisted living costs, expensive medical coverage and prescriptions mean
that more seniors are living with financial hardship.
Seniors have contributed immensely to today’s society. It is important for
seniors to feel appreciated and valued as an individual and a member of their community. Taking on new, positive attitudes towards seniors is the first step to take to begin having better interactions with seniors.
Examples of positive attitudes include:
The older years in a person’s life are really the ‘golden years’
There is a still lot of living to do, regardless of age or ability
Seniors have knowledge, skills and contributions that shape our society
Each person is an individual and do not fit into a stereotyped category
Each person is a human being facing new challenges
Be patient and respectful
Providing inclusive leisure services:
In the later years of life, people have more free time and are able to enjoy
leisure activities more freely. Leisure is a great way to overcome the
challenges associated with aging.
Some considerations to make before planning leisure activities for seniors:
Do what they want to do, not what you think they should do
Make sure information is accessible – go to them rather than making them find you
Make sure the program is accessible – offer funding assistance or transportation if needed
Make the activities flexible for all abilities
Be flexible to make changes if something is not working
WHY DON’T YOU LIKE ME???
As young people, we sometimes get dirty looks from older people and
sometimes they can be pretty cranky and demanding. It can seem that older
people don’t like young people, but we are part of a group that have
stereotypes of our own. Some stereotypes held against us:
Do not have any work ethic
Drive like maniacs
Chew gum loudly
Curse and spit in public
WHAT CAN I DO??
Show respect and patience to seniors at every opportunity. Hold a door, help with bags, and don’t act impatient if they need extra time to get organized. Best of all, SMILE
Take time to build a relationship. Ask
questions about their life and the time
you spend will be anything but boring!
Participate in conversations and activities
that put a positive spin on their life
Go down to a retirement home for an
afternoon and visit with someone. If you
have a special skill like knitting, playing music, playing games, there will be someone there who would be thrilled to join you.
1) Ulyssean living and the role of leisure
2) Statistics of the aging population
3) Overcoming negative stereotypes
4) Understanding and overcoming challenges in life and leisure
5) The role of young people with seniors
6) Practical suggestions for better interactions
What is a Ulyssean adult?
How does leisure connect people to the Ulyssean lifestyle?
What are the 4 main challenges seniors face in life and leisure?
What is one reason that a senior would become withdrawn or depressed?
What is the first step in having positive interactions with seniors?
REFLECTION : Take some time to answer these questions in your journal:
What have you done in the past week to show respect to a senior?
What interests do you have that you could share with a senior?
Who do you know that is a senior experiencing some of the challenges discussed today?
What can you do to help that person overcome their challenge in life or leisure?
What is one positive attitude that you can adopt to have better interactions with seniors?