The Waltons is an American television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr., based on his book Spencer’s Mountain, and a 1963 film of the same name. The show is centered on a family in a rural Virginia community during the Great Depression and World War II.
It seems when we don’t know what to do with a specific demographic of people, as in the case of the elderly, we tend to group them together in one place and pay professionals to take care of them in that place.
God bless these professionals!
They do great work.
But is there evidence to build a case for supporting seniors with professional caregivers, family and neighbours within their existing communities?
And if seniors continue to have a purpose within their families and neighbourhoods, do they, and the rest of the community for that matter, have a better quality of life?
Sure, we have pretty busy lives these days.
It’s not like it used to be 100, or even 50 years ago.
You know, like on The Waltons where Grandma and Grandpa lived with the family and contributed to the raising of the children and the work required to the run the household.
But could there be a better middle ground?
Recently, I read about how Care Villages support the elderly when someone posted it on Facebook.
I was very intrigued with this concept and also shared the article on my own Facebook page with the following comment:
I worry that when we stick a bunch of seniors into care facilities and isolate them from the rest of society, they can lose what gives them joy in life, thereby seriously hampering their quality of life.
There is a town in Japan that boasts the largest number of folks over 100 years old. The community of all ages remains integrated and grandparents and great grandparents are involved in the lives of future generations.
I believe that the young and the old have much to offer each other. What can we do, and how can we support more initiatives like this?
I am reminded of a documentary I saw not too long ago about Okinawa, Japan having the highest proportion of people 100+ years old at 34.85 per 100,000 people.
These vibrant folks still enjoy farming and remain fully integrated in their families and communities!
Their lives are filled with purpose and meaningful connections.
They work. They laugh. They socialize. They seem so…young at heart!
Check out this video I found on YouTube!
In Canada alone, the number of seniors aged 65 and over increased 14.1% between 2006 and 2011 to nearly 5 million.
By 2063, the share of seniors in the population will climb to about 25 per cent from 15 per cent currently, with much of that shift taking place over the next 15 years as the baby boomers age.
Meantime, the number of seniors over the age of 80 will jump to nearly five million compared with 1.4 million last year, with the number of centenarians soaring ninefold to 62,000.
It is in all our best interest, to figure out a better way to deal with aging populations.
One that gives our seniors purpose and keeps them integrated, healthy and contributing in our society.
~ HUMP DAY CHRONICLES ~
We’re all going to be seniors one day.
I don’t know about you but I’d like to have this figured out before I’m a senior!