October is seniors month. The theme for seniors month in 2023 is ‘social connections’. Council of the Ageing Queensland coordinates seniors month and with local organisations plans events and activities.
Seniors month gives seniors recognition. For one month every year we shine a light on seniors and promote our worth and our needs to the community.
Through recognition has come practical gains such as the many discounts we enjoy through our various seniors cards, priority seating on public transport, assistance with many ageing issues and who could miss the senior priority parking at Capalaba Central Shopping Centre.
Seniors month promotes the many organisations and clubs that exist for the welfare, connection and enjoyment of Seniors, and in Redlands these are numerous.
U3AR (University of the Third Age Redlands) is an organisation run by seniors for seniors to deliver education and learning experiences. This includes academic and leisure activities. U3AR promotes healthy ageing by sharing educational, creative and leisure activities provided by their own members.
We, the “Writing for Pleasure” group at U3AR have been contributing to the seniors pages of the Redland City News since its inception earlier this year. Seniors month gives our writers an opportunity to share their thoughts on seniors month and generally being a Senior.
Anita Lazic, a talented photographer and writer has a positive outlook: “Time is the greatest asset we gain by being a senior, the free time we have earned from many years of working religiously in the past. Time to fully explore our hobbies, travel to places and do what we dreamed of during our time restricted years. This is our time.”
Geoff Hillier sees seniors month as a time to show our valuable life experiences: “Seniors need a voice and should not be hidden or labelled as a burden on the community. We must demonstrate that the Senior age is not the dusk of our lives but rather a vast library of experience and a living history.
“Our era witnessed the advent of technology, including computers, the internet, gadgets in use today, microwaves, coffee machines, the Beatles, nuclear bombs, and space travel. We have experienced all of these and learned valuable lessons from them.
“It was a brilliant yet sometimes challenging time. Seniors are not merely waiting in line for the graveyard.
We are here to inspire, assist and contribute to the development of our community.”
Hanna Wassenaar wants Seniors to live life to the fullest: “Throughout my life I have prioritized good food, fun, friendships and fitness. Now at age 81, I am reaping the benefits as I continue to compete as a Breaststroke swimmer with Queensland Masters Swimming.”
Kathy Manning confirms that our senior years can be challenging: “The clock marches at a different beat.
Gone are the days, when you oversaw your children’s morning routine with military precision, getting to places on time. We have deliberately put our clock 15 minutes fast, for the inevitable losing of keys, phone, and the last trip to the toilet.”
And finally, seniors month has encouraged Patricia Ketteringham to wax lyrical. Just as Paul Keating sent us racing for our dictionaries years ago when he re-introduced the word “recalcitrant” into our language, Patricia is showing that when it comes to our vocab, we seniors are no dolts:
What is a senior?
A senior is someone who’s older than you,
Like in sibling, or workmate. Oh yes, it is true.
Seniors are young folk, even 51 years
Or 102 – like scads of their peers.
Take us for instance, we’re classed as ‘the aged’,
Geriatrics, retirees and oldies we’re paged.
Careful on stairways, the shower and the loo
But kids fall over and hurt themselves too.
And seniors have status with knowledge profound,
We are constantly learning from the facts we have found.
Cry when we want to, laugh when we please,
Life as a senior? We live it with ease.