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Discrimination against seniors!
by Norbert Boudreau, Provincial 1st Vice-President
Are you sometimes ignored or treated as though you were invisible? Are you told directly or indirectly that as a senior you have nothing to contribute—or even that you are deemed incompetent—and cast as a burden on society?
Ageism, a type of stereotyping, is a set of beliefs and prejudicial attitudes against a particular age group, especially the elderly. Unsubstantiated and incorrect generalizations about old age and the aging process, based purely on the age of a person, are basically wrong. It is an undeniable fact, though, that as we grow older we will need more medical care.
RTO/ERO, with a membership of close to 70,000, has many retirees over the age of 80 who are still active and contributing members of society. The skills they have acquired and the knowledge they have amassed continue to be shared with others through volunteer work. For many, age is just a number, and they live life to the fullest.
As I do, many retirees exercise both mind and body. For many, physical exercise is part of their daily routine. I dare say that some are in better physical shape than many overweight younger citizens. Much needed volunteer work by retirees keeps them young and fit as well.
Elderly persons do have the same rights to all governmental services—especially health services—as do all citizens. I’m sure our senior seniors are offended when they hear that their legitimate complaints are often ignored and viewed as an inevitable part of aging.
We are living in an aging society, but that doesn’t mean that seniors are less important and should be treated differently. It is true as well that our health care system must adapt to an aging population and that society must evolve to meet the needs of seniors.
Many often laugh about those grumpy old men who complain about anything and everything. Let me tell you that you don’t have to be old to be grumpy. I get annoyed and grumpy when I hear people say that many of my senior colleagues and I are non-contributing members of society. We are not a burden to society by virtue of our age!
Policy makers must build an age-inclusive Canada, raise awareness about ageism, help our senior seniors live independently longer, and address the specific needs of an aging population. Let’s celebrate the ageless spirit of our seniors. Ageism in Canada should not be tolerated.
by Vern Phillips,, District 27 President
Diabetes runs rampant in my family. We are a good old Catholic family of twelve children—seven boys and five girls. Five of us (four brothers and one sister) inherited the disease from our dear mother. In all fairness, Mom also passed on to us some very positive genes. God bless her loving soul.
Thirty-eight years ago, I discovered that I had type 2 diabetes. At the time, diabetes was not taken as seriously as it is today, not even by doctors. For about the first ten years, I believed that, if I took my pills, I could carry on as if I did not have diabetes. Wrong! Subsequently, I learned that diabetes is a progressive killer disease that must be kept in check at all times. This message was further emblazoned on my mind two years ago when I lost an older brother to diabetes complications.
An excellent article entitled “Choice or Chance” by Anne Bokma appeared recently in Diabetes Dialogue, an official publication of the Canadian Diabetes Association. In it, she writes, “While being overweight is a risk factor for developing the disease, there are also a host of other contributing factors—such as age, family history, and ethnicity.” She then quotes Dr. Andrew Advani, an endocrinologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, who says, ”There’s no question that type 2 diabetes occurs more frequently in overweight individuals, but we have to remember that most people who are overweight never develop diabetes and, similarly, many people with type 2 diabetes aren’t overweight.” He also points out that age is an important risk factor for type 2 diabetes and that the vast majority of people with diabetes—about 90 per cent—have type 2 diabetes.
A positive attitude is the key to living successfully and productively with diabetes. Discovering that you have diabetes is not a death sentence. Rather, it is a red flag cautioning you to pay closer attention to your health. This means several things: (1) going for regular checkups, (2) following your doctor’s advice, (3) taking your medications religiously, (4) watching your diet, and (5) exercising regularly. Despite all of the above, there will be hiccups occasionally. This is because over time the body adapts to the medications which then become ineffective. Hence, new or additional treatments such as insulin may be required. Insulin is a life saver – thanks to Dr. Banting. I know of people who have lived with insulin for over 50 years.
Despite incredible advances in diabetes research, a cure for diabetes may not be found in my lifetime. Therefore, for me and at least 2 million other Canadians, diabetes is for life. So, over time, I have learned to live with it quite happily.
Know Your Health Plan
Friday, February 23, 2018
Location: Heron Road Community Centre, 1480 Heron Road, Ottawa
Date: Friday, February 23, 2018
Time: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Cost: No cost
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tel. : _____________________________________; Email ___________________________________________________________________________________
Know Your Health Plan - (No cost)
Please make cheques payable to: Treasurer, RTO/ERO, District 27: Roger Regimbal, 2448 Prom. Orient Park Dr., Ottawa, K1B 4N1
PLEASE CALL OR SEND AN EMAIL TO: Doug Carter
Tel; 613 596-3838
Important Warning Regarding Trip Cancellation
The paragraph entitled "Trip Cancellation" on page 12 of your RTO/ERO Out-of-Province/Canada Travel Booklet, 2017, requires your attention.
This paragraph is of particular interest to members who decide to book a side trip or a cruise while they are already vacationing or traveling outside of their province of residence.
“Trip Cancellation: Covers up to $6,000 per insured person for the prepaid, non-refundable portion of your travel arrangement costs for trips that were booked prior to your departure from your province of residence….”