Building A Community For Our Aging Demographic

Last week as part of the Oxfam Saskatoon W8 Potluck Series, Patricia Roe from the Sherbrooke Community Centre gave a fantastic talk regarding the challenges our community faces in supporting our aging population.

Of that aging demographic, 37% will be over 80 years of age, 25% will have some kind of dementia and 33% will live with some kind of disability. This poses a major challenge for the declining number of youth that need to support this large cohort of older people.

Patricia has worked at the Sherbrooke Community Centre for the past twenty years, whose mission is “to create a world for people, when they no longer live out in a community.” Sherbrooke offers a number of progressive programs that address the loneliness, helplessness and boredom that often occur at institutions. Those programs include a store that residents can work in, a multicultural spiritual centre, a large gardening program, music, dance and wine making clubs, as well as an international acclaimed art program. Most recently they introduced a successful writing program that allows residents to share their stories.

As Patricia says, “what we can do in our community, and what we can do as leaders in the community, is make change here. And if we make that change, then people are gonna start demanding change.” She believes it’s our responsibility as a society to help make life full and abundant for our aging population. There are practical small things we can do locally that can have a big impact in our communities.

You can listen to Patricia’s talk at: Oxfam W8 Series – Particia Roe.mp3