With spring around the corner, UBC Okanagan is organizing a series of events to help the region’s aging population keep a spring in their steps.
Embrace Aging Month is organized by UBCO’s Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention (IHLCDP) in partnership with Interior Savings Credit Union and Interior Health. It is 31 days of activities to celebrate the joy of aging and at the same time provide tips and ideas on how to live every day to its fullest, explains Dr. Joan Bottorff, Professor of Nursing and IHLCDP Director.
While there are a number of activities and information sessions, a key event will be a webinar hosted by André Picard, health reporter and columnist for The Globe and Mail. Taking place on March 14 via Zoom, Picard will share his in-depth insights on post-pandemic health reform and discuss lessons all Canadians can take away after living with the COVID-19 pandemic for two years.
As one of Canada’s top health and public policy observers and commentators, Picard has covered all angles of the pandemic—from the status of frontline workers, to the implications for older adults and youth, to the impact on our workplaces.
“We are honoured to have André Picard’s insights as part of our Embrace Aging month,” says Dr. Bottorff. “Mr. Picard is a well-respected journalist who has become a popular advocate and expert about good physical and mental health for all Canadians.”
Now in its ninth year, Embrace Aging is a jam-packed calendar of events ranging from group walks with UBCO students and faculty, tips for aging at home, a webinar highlighting the signs, symptoms and solutions of caregiver burnout, a music therapy session and even a yoga lesson that promotes laughter. There are also presentations by UBCO researchers sharing new evidence on a range of topics from the effects of climate change on health to virtual health care, as well as opportunities to get involved in science projects with kids.
A Café Scientifique takes place on March 2, where the latest research on growing older at home will be presented by UBCO’s Aging in Place Eminence Research Cluster. The goal of this, and all other Embrace Aging events, is to create awareness and educational opportunities for older adults and their families to learn the many aspects of good physical, mental and social health.
“While Embrace Aging Month brings into focus the importance of supporting older adults in our communities, the sessions are for young and old alike,” she adds. “We have tried to think of something for just about everyone.”
Other highlights of the month include free visits to the YMCA, an electric bike demonstration, a games and virtual reality webinar where participants can learn about immersive technologies, floor projection and wearable sensors.
Embrace Aging events are free and open to the public. They begin Tuesday, March 1 and continue throughout the month. For a full event schedule and registration details, visit: okanaganembraceaging.com