Category Archives: aging

AGING: Systemic Obstacles That Lead To Social Exclusion For Seniors – By Yvonne Sam

Systemic Obstacles That Lead To Social Exclusion For Seniors

By 2036, Montrealers, aged 65 or over, will be around 465,800, and most are women. Photo credit: Anna Shvets/Pexels.

By Yvonne Sam – Contributing Columnist PRIDE NEWS Commentary 

Yvonne Sam -- newSocial exclusion is the process, through which individuals or groups are excluded from facilities, benefits and the opportunities that the others enjoy.

Montréal’s population is growing older and this is expected to accelerate over the next few years. In 2016, there were 323,660 Montrealers, aged 65 or over. By 2036, this figure will be around 465,800, and most are women.

Among the social groups considered vulnerable are the elderly, and the current pandemic has affected them disproportionally. It has excluded older adults from in-person contact with others in society. As such, they must shelter, in place, and maintain physical distance from others during this pandemic.

The Acts of Exclusion
Digital technologies pervade all aspects of life. The internet is a key example of modern digital technology that enables people to overcome physical distance, through digital social connections.

Older adults are less likely to be able to take advantage of the opportunities, enabled by modern information and communication technologies, such as smart-phones, tablets, and high-speed internet services.  They tend to opt not to use the Internet or cannot afford Internet access.

Additionally, they lack technologies with which to use video-chat apps to virtually connect with people, or lack the skills to use certain technologies, even if they do have access.

Physical or cognitive limitations may prevent seniors, in long-term care facilities, from being able to use communication technologies on their own, without assistance from others. Non-participation in the digital world leads older adults to feel social exclusion during times of physical distancing.

The global social-distancing mandates during COVID-19, minimize social contact, but many people circumvent these limitations by using communication technologies to remain connected.

The Elderly and Digital Equity
The United Nations International Day of Older Persons 2021 theme, “Digital Equity for All Ages”, predicates the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older persons.

Digital equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services. Older persons experience digital inequity to a greater extent than other groups in society. They are often not benefitting fully, from the opportunities provided by technological progress.

Sadly, most tech gurus at stores, online or on help lines are young people using unfamiliar terms or speeding through explanations. Now is the time to cross the digital barrier. The theme resonates loud and clear: now is the time to bring technology to the entire aging population. The need is increasing and not disappearing.

Older adults can learn technology, but it must be adapted for them and made accessible, and this is not happening. Older adults lack connected devices and internet access; devices are too expensive for those on limited incomes, and internet connectivity packages often do not consider the needs and uses of this demographic.

Conclusively, while the obstacles are many, it is imperative that older adults attain digital literacy and get connected, if they are to stay relevant, employable and engaged in their local communities. They need empowering learning opportunities, not ones that make them feel overwhelmed, ignorant or helpless.

Let not the United Nations International Day of Older Persons 2021 theme seem like an unattainable dream.

Aleuta continua — the struggle continues.

Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is the Chair of the Rights and Freedom Committee at the Black Community Resource Centre. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.

GUYANA: Build bridges, not walls – By Mosa Telford – Opinion

– By Mosa Telford

Conflict brews when there are opposing sides in any society. The thread of conflict has weaved its way through time. To be alive on Earth means that we not only enjoy happiness, pleasure and peace but are also entangled in pain, sorrow, and war. For many it is either religious or spiritual philosophies that save us from a state of perpetual darkness and fear.

Many believe that there is better beyond this world and that is the hope that fuels them. But for some, that also means their power is suppressed. When there is none or limited belief in the power of self – the knowledge that it is we who must take charge of our destiny and create the life we desire beginning with the focus of the mind – the cycle of darkness and fear can overpower us.      Continue reading

OPINION: Life … And Then It Is Winter  By Ed Meadows | The Reporter  + 2 Videos

By Ed Meadows | The Reporter 

Time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday when I was young, just married and embarking on a new life with my mate. Yet, in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went.

I know I lived them all. I have photos and glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.      Continue reading

TED VIDEO: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

38,750,692 views – TEDxBeaconStreet | November 2015

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER – Robert Waldinger · Psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, Zen priest. Robert Waldinger is the Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history.

SPORTS: By Defying The Odds, Phil and Tiger Maintain Their Grip On Golf, and On Us

Phil Mickelson

Barry Svrluga | The Washington Post

Phil Mickelson’s victory over the weekend at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island and Tiger Woods’s win at Augusta National in 2019 are such singular, separate accomplishments — different golfers who overcame different obstacles on vastly different golf courses.

Yet when Mickelson won the PGA Championship on Sunday, becoming the oldest player to win a major, didn’t the mind drift easily back to Woods at the Masters two years earlier?        Continue reading

Aging – Keynote Speaker Fritz Coleman – very funny… two videos

VIDEO FOR SENIORS…..HILARIOUS…..TO BE ENJOYED BY ALL AGES

This entry was previously published on Guyanese Online on Sept, 12, 2014

Conference on Aging – Keynote Speaker Fritz Coleman

Published on May 30, 2014

Part Two – Senior Conference On Aging. Held at the First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena. Keynote Speaker Fritz Coleman NBC4’s weathercaster is a Southern California broadcasting icon. NBS 4’s Weathercaster Plus standup comedian great weather report.            Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: