Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers, chatted with senior Vivien Metherell, left, while her friend Mary Gale Wright looks on during Seniors’ Day at the Lloydminster Legacy Centre on Oct. 2 during Seniors’ Week in Saskatchewan and one day after national Seniors’ Day on Oct. 1. The event feature a variety of speakers on issues of interest to seniors. GEOFF LEE LSS PHOTO
Lloydminster seniors were feted and informed during Saskatchewan Seniors’ Week.
About 50 seniors were treated to a Seniors’ Day Brunch ‘N’ Lunch at the Lloydminster Legacy Centre on Monday, one day after National Seniors’ Day on Oct. 1.
“We’ve got a nice lunch-and-learn celebration package for our seniors,” said Linda Cooke, program coordinator Senior Connections Catholic Social Services, who acted as master of ceremonies.
“It’s important we remember the legacies that our seniors have given us over the years, and so we bring the celebration to them as a thank you for pioneering our world.”
The schedule included a talk on fraud and scams by Lloydminster RCMP Const. Grant Kirzinger, and elder abuse by Leanne Wildeman, community education and engagement coordinator, Lloydminster Interval Home.
Neil Harris from Alberta Health Services also spoke about mindful aging.
The event was funded by Lloydminster Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) with the topics chosen in discussions with seniors.
“A lot of these presenters we had last year and they were very well received, so we decided to bring them back again,” said Patrick Lancaster, manager of social programs and services for FCSS.
“There is some work going on in the community around elder abuse, so that was a new topic that we introduced this year.”
The agenda included greetings from Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers, who presented senior Kay Hauer with one of 150 Canada Day community achievement certificates on behalf of Gerry Ritz MP Battlefords-Lloydminster.
Aalbers said the event is an opportunity to let seniors know everything they’ve done in the community is appreciated while addressing some of their issues.
“Certainly, we are aware of the issues that face them today, whether it be health care or housing,” he said.
“That’s why we’re here today, is to hear from them; we’ll have the opportunity for them to enjoy some lunch and hopefully give us some input on the Lloyd Needs Survey.”
Cooke said just about every senior she talks to mentions a lack of personal money plus public transportation and housing, as the two main public issues of concern to them.
Kirzinger said seniors are also victimized by scams and fraud, and he hoped to make them aware of how to protect themselves from being taken advantage of.
He said ensuring you are not a victim of a scam has a few different aspects to it, the first being able to identify that scam and being able to know when someone’s being dishonest when they are trying to trick you into something that’s not real.
“The next step after that is being able to notify others to make sure other people know what’s going on so that they’re not taken advantage of whether that be through reporting or communications with the senior’s centre,” said Kirzinger.
“The final step would be protecting your information, whether it be your personal banking information, your identity or different things like that.”
When it comes to elder abuse, Wildeman from the Interval Home said, “I do believe that with all relationship violence, it can impact anyone, so absolutely we do have some senior abuse that does happen in the community.”
She said her talk would touch on how to prevent it; how to support someone that is dealing with an abusive relationship, and what are some of the warning signs.
She also planned to talk about what action seniors can take if abuse takes place.
“They can certainly seek support from the Lloydminster Interval Home; we do support seniors as well,” said Wildeman.
“They can speak to authorities about what’s going on, or seek support from family members and friends.”