Did you know today is National Seniors Day and International Day of Older Persons?
With so much grey hair here in the Okanagan, we have much to celebrate. Although we have to admit it stung a little when we learned that, according to the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, the second title refers to anyone over the age of 45.
Ouch! Better break out the walker now before our ego is permanently bruised.
But, seriously, with such a critical mass of age and wisdom contained in our Valley, the Okanagan is literally a showcase for Canada's aging population.
British Columbians have the highest life expectancy in the country, according to Statistics Canada, and seniors aged 65 or older account for 16 per cent of the population.
That number is expected to double in the next 20 years to an estimated 1.4 million, placing B.C. at the leading edge of the demographic shift being pushed by the retirement of the baby boom generation.
Here in the Okanagan, those numbers are even further skewed toward the grey. What happens here will follow elsewhere, making the Okanagan a prime testing ground for new health-care models and independent or supported-care living arrangements for our parents and grandparents.
We (and by 'we' I mean you older folks) are healthier, smarter and better off than seniors in most parts of the country - if not the world.
So give yourselves a pat on the back. If you're younger, why not give mom, dad or gramps a hug and thank them for all they've done for you?
We wouldn't be here today if it weren't for them.
- Managing Editor