October 1—International Day of Older Persons

Author:  Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Age-Friendly Business®

When we think of October, we think of Canadian Thanksgiving, turkey and dressing, and finally, the ghosts and goblins of Halloween.  I suspect that few of us know that October 1 is recognized each year as the International Day of Older Persons. 

Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1990, and first observed October 1, 1991, this day has been set aside to raise awareness of issues impacting members of our aging society.

This year, the theme is: “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.”

The sad reality is that it appears we still need to be reminded of the value and contributions of this large, significant, and growing segment of our population. 

Ageism in its blatant and subtle forms remains evident throughout our societies.  Ageism refers to the discrimination against persons based on their age, and is often applied toward older persons. 

Many believe that a person’s value has a ‘best before’ date attached to their age.  It is insidious, and if left unchecked, has a destructive influence on one’s sense of self worth, validity, and overall health.

Intentional or not — the impact is the same.  Think about the birthday cards we buy and the jokes that make us laugh.  Think about the sales clerk or service professional who speaks through an adult child, minimizing and ignoring the older parent.

 Think about our assumption that cognitive decline must be in play simply because we do not agree with a specific decision or choice made by a person of advancing years. I have personally made many ‘unfortunate’ choices throughout my lifetime, and would like to know what magic number exists where that is no longer an acceptable experience in my life journey.

Ageism is expressed at individual, societal, institutional, and system levels.  We often don’t even recognize it until it hits us within our personal sphere.  It is easier to recognize when we stand back and ask ourselves, “would I think, believe, and act this way toward a younger adult?”

Not always easy questions, but we must never lose the courage to explore and challenge. 

The more we consider and examine, the quicker we’ll move from “Stepping into the Future” to “Commemorating our Present commitment to Tapping the Talents, Contribution and Participation of Older Persons.”

All transformation starts in the hearts and minds of a handful of people.  Gradually, and with time and persistence, it expands and evolves to a changing worldview. We don’t have to wait for others to take on the cause.  Both booming voice and quiet intention will make a difference.  Choose your method and choose your path, while we invite you to join the call to change how the world sees and beholds older persons.  Together we can progress from a future-based inspirational vision, to a present-day celebration of achievement and sustainability!

Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA, Founder and CEO, Age-Friendly Business®


Turkey Strips

These turkey strips are great to enjoy with fresh vegetables and hummus or to add to a salad or rice bowl. No matter how you enjoy them, lean protein will help to refuel your energy needs healthfully. Makes 4-6 servings.

Ingredients – 2 tbsp (25 mL) apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh parsley, 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil, 1 large clove garlic, rasped, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) fresh ground pepper, 1 boneless skinless turkey breast (about 1 lb/500 g).

Directions – In a large bowl, stir together vinegar, mustard, parsley, oil, garlic and pepper; set aside. Cut turkey breast into 6 to 8 strips that are about the same size and add to bowl. Stir strips well to coat with marinade. Let stand 10 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Meanwhile, heat grill to medium high heat. Place turkey strips on greased grill for about 12 minutes, turning once or twice until no longer pink inside. Enjoy right away or let cool; cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Alternatively freeze for up to 2 weeks.

Nutritional Info Per Serving (1 of 4) – Calories 114, Protein 27 g, Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 63 mg, Carbohydrates 1 g, Fibre 0 g, Total sugars 0 g
Added sugars 0 g, Sodium 134 mg, Potassium 315 mg.

Recipe developed by Emily Richards, PH Ec. ©Heart and Stroke Foundation 2015.


Always Stay Curious

“Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.”

Albert Einstein

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