SENIORS—Recognizing Older Nova Scotians
Older Nova Scotians are leaders in the province. They are business owners and entrepreneurs, volunteers, mentors, caregivers and have a wealth of knowledge and expertise to share with other generations.
Seniors’ Week, Oct. 1-7, is a time to celebrate older Nova Scotians and recognize the unique impact they have on their communities and the province.
“Older Nova Scotians are the backbone of our communities and make valuable contributions through their work, interests and volunteerism,” says Leo Glavine, Minister of Seniors. “This year’s theme, Seniors for Nova Scotia Strong, highlights how older adults continue to show their strength, especially in difficult times and their ability to adapt and lead.”
SHIFT: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population is changing the narrative about older adults. Under this plan, government is investing in age-friendly communities, expanding community transit, supporting older workers and their employers, encouraging entrepreneurship and increasing funding for home repairs and accommodations. The guiding principles of SHIFT are to value the social and economic contributions of older adults, promote healthy, active living and support seniors staying in their homes so they can stay connected to their communities as long as they can.
This spring, Senior Safety Programs received emergency funding totalling $360,000, and Community Links received $110,000 to help them respond to increased needs due to COVID-19. Last year, an investment of $390,000 supported 30 projects through the Age-Friendly Communities Grant program, which supports projects that help overcome social isolation of older adults and help them stay active, healthy and engaged in their communities.
For example, the Live Well Community Church was able to offer affordable food boxes to low-income residents of Digby Neck and Islands through their Connect Care initiative, and the Shelburne County Mental Health and Wellness Association set up a toll-free telephone line to serve vulnerable populations dealing with loneliness or isolation.
Older Nova Scotians continue to step up to the plate when faced with challenges. They are innovative, creative and adaptable to changing times and there are countless reasons why they should be celebrated this Seniors’ Week.
I’ll always try and encourage others, there is always someone you can encourage and help. Joy Saunders, turning 102 this month, Lunenburg
- the world is aging, and so is Nova Scotia. By 2030 more than one in four Nova Scotians will be aged 65 and over
- one in four Nova Scotians between the ages of 65 and 69 are in the workforce; 25 per cent of them are self-employed entrepreneurs
- people over 50 have the highest business startup rates. Five years after opening, 70 per cent of businesses started by older entrepreneurs were still operating, compared to 28 per cent started by younger people
- Most older Nova Scotians live at home as active members in their communities