Putting more life in your years

by Andy Bryenton

We all know that modern medicine, lifestyle and health choices are increasing the age we can expect to live to and that New Zealand has an ageing population, with a large proportion of our citizens now over the age of 65.

What we must do now — according to groups such as Grey Power and Age Concern — is to put more life into those precious years. Retirement should be an exciting time for recreation, self-discovery and fun, rather than a gloomy prospect.

Making this change and celebrating the valuable contribution of older citizens to the world — is the International Day of the Older Person, falling this year on October 1. At the same time, steps are being taken locally to ensure that the ‘autumn years’ as they are euphemistically named become a time of comfort and enjoyment for older folks in Christchurch.

The 12th annual Positive Ageing Expo is about to kick off in Papanui, filling the central high school with exhibits that are all about quality of life and healthy options for our over 65s.

There will be displays about better living and healthier homes, medical and personal security, activities, places to visit, places to live, and of course plenty of opportunities to get together with like-minded people and have a good time. The expo serves as a focal point for all of the efforts concentrated throughout the Selwyn district and beyond to improve the quality of life, health and wellbeing for older citizens, so it’s a must-see if you or your family members are of or approaching retirement age. From 9am through to 2.30pm the high school’s assembly hall will become a place of information and education — not for our youngest citizens but for our most experienced, in a powerful metaphor for another keystone of the expo — lifelong learning.

Come along and get involved, there’s so much to see and do, and great news to take on board about how to make the golden years a great time to be alive.

In fact, the organisers extend a warm invitation to the whole family to celebrate the International Day of the Older Person in a way which carries on its message throughout the year.