by Anne-Marie Coury, Auckland Grey Power Association
The International Day of the Older Person – The challenge this year is to encourage our seniors to open up and explore how they could become their own champions, in other words, getting in touch with their hopes and dreams, and setting goals that motivate them to achieve.
Sitting and listening to them tell about the challenging times in their past takes time and effort, but is rewarding. It’s an opportunity to learn about the stories of a bygone era and connect to the amazing strengths of our elders. Make sure you also gain a picture of what barriers they face; real or imagined in taking on new challenges.
Our task is to show gratitude for their sacrifices, their hard work, and dedication to building the city. With their labour and heavy taxes paid to ensure infrastructure was built, we should not find this a struggle. Our seniors are practiced at seeing and meeting the needs of others, but these days their needs and even contributions are hidden from view and often go unnoticed.
Society relies heavily on their voluntary unpaid labour, whether in childcare, home based care, or running essential services like manning hospital reception desks. While only making up 14% of our volunteer population, they are providing over 50% of the voluntary hours worked!
So, let’s celebrate and salute our elders, as they carry our resilience genes!