In looking for a quote for this month’s newsletter, I ended up wandering onto Care Watch’s website. And, there it was… a quote worthy of sharing from former OSSCO board member Bea Levis.
We did not lose our license for citizenship when we retired. We need to sit in the front seat when it comes to making policy decisions about seniors’ citizens.”
– Long-time senior citizen activist and former Care Watch vice chair, Bea Levi
Later that same day, I learned of Bea’s passing, at nearly 100 years old. Bea as petite as she was in size, was a giant in spirit and vision. On her last year on the OSSCO board, I remember her sternly and firmly directing 2 board members whose conduct was inappropriate to “take it out in the hall”. She admonished them to return only when they could behave.
The past few years were challenging for Bea. Her daughter who returned home to care for her developed Guillain barre syndrome; it was Bea caring for her daughter instead.
I decided to share with you our recognition of Bea, with our prestigious Dan Benedict award.
According to the BBC, with more than 800 million people over 60 and more centenarians than the population of Iceland (that’s about 329,000), the world is having to brace itself for the economic – and social – consequences. The world added 1 more person – me.
My life focus is to persuade society that getting older and becoming a retiree does not mean that person can no longer contribute to society. OSSCO’s YouTube video “Don’t be fooled by grey hair”, will give insight and allow you to understand the impact on society by 3 retired ladies with different backgrounds.
In celebration of Senior’s Month, we are giving you information and articles to reshape your view on aging. Older people continue to change Ontario whether through our votes, crossing the intergenerational divide as parents and grandparents or being compassionate as caregivers. Without older people, the backbone of the volunteer sector would be negatively impacted. With “more life experience” behind us, older people make great advocates, bring seasoned viewpoints as politicians and avoid some of the pitfalls of new business start-ups.
There are approximately 37 days left before the provincial election on June 7. The reason we remind our readers that it is a “provincial” election is regardless of age, people get confused as to what level of government is responsible for what services.
The current provincial government funded our Engaging Seniors in Civic Dialogue workshop to help clarify the jurisdictions and responsibilities for all 3 levels of government. It also allowed OSSCO attendees to learn how to speak to stakeholders and raise their concerns and issues in a way that would be heard. Our program teaches attendees how to build bridges in community so a cohesive seniors’ voice is heard.
If you are deciding who to vote for, inside you will read about the positions from some seniors’ groups, watch organizations, seniors’ networks and labour as to what is important in this election.
Ontario Society of Senior Citizens’ Organizations /La Société des Organisations des Citoyens Aînés de l’Ontario (OSSCO/SOCAO)
OSSCO/SOCAO is a provincially registered charity. Our tag line "Seniors transforming Ontario through wisdom, insight and experience" reflects our mission and membership.
Founded in 1986, our goal is to improve the quality of life for Ontario seniors through educational programs, research and public policy awareness. Member organizations and individuals represent senior citizen networks, alliances, groups as well as the non-profit, government and private sector organizations who support the diverse and multicultural seniors community.