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B.C. group shines a light on ageism ahead of National Seniors Day

Oct. 1 marks the contributions seniors make and the challenges they face
Greater Victoria residents are being encouraged to reflect on how common ageism against seniors is in society ahead of National Seniors Day on Oct. 1. (Pixabay photo)

Oct. 1 is National Seniors Day and the BC Community Response Network is using the leadup to it to raise awareness of just how prevalent anti-senior ageism is.

The network’s Victoria chapter said in a release that 19 per cent of B.C. residents are aged 65 or older as of the 2020 census, and that figure is expected to rise to nearly 25 per cent by 2041.

Citing the World Health Organization, the network said while ageism can affect everyone at any age, in the older population it has been associated with an up to seven-and-a-half year shorter lifespan, poorer physical and mental health, and slower recovery from disability.

“Ageism is practised everywhere – in government, business, retail, education and health care, to name a few sectors,” according to the release. “Just check out how many ads try to sell their products based on their anti-aging properties. It’s interesting that society views aging in a negative way when we’re all going to be senior one day.”

On Oct. 1, the network is encouraging people to show the seniors in their lives they care about them. Simple acts like reaching out to a neighbour to wish them well, taking a walk or cooking a meal together, sending a card or simply smiling and saying “hi” when you pass a senior on the street can make a positive difference.

READ MORE: Greater Victoria asked to mark elder abuse awareness day June 15

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