Active Aging BC celebrates International Day of Older Persons
Two hundred older adults got moving and dancing in their chairs last Friday, September 30, at a special event celebrating the International Day of Older Persons at Surrey City Hall. The lunchtime presentation, opened by Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner, was an educating and entertaining celebration featuring Dr. Art Hister and musical act ‘The Lady Larks,' hosted by Active Aging BC (ABC), an initiative of the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility (CHHM) and the City of Surrey.
“The concert was both entertaining and educational,” remarked a woman who came to see the Lady Larks. In addition to listening to beautiful music, the audience of older adults heard a clear, and powerful message: physical activity is key to maintaining mobility, independence and health as we age.
Media personality and physician, Dr. Art Hister, shared his “Magic Bullet for Health” with characteristic humour and wit. “Events like this one are so important,” commented Dr. Hister, “You cannot imagine how difficult it is to get the ‘move more’ message across. If 5 people leave today and become active, it’s a success.”
Dr. Heather McKay, Director of CHHM, and lead on the ABC initiative, echoed Dr. Art’s remarks in her presentation. Pwittei Brar, a septuagenarian who attended the presentation said, “I will be more active.”
The highlight for many was ‘The Daily Dose,’ an in-chair physical activity led by Colleen Waldron, a certified activity coach and facilitator of the ABC program, Choose to Move, a choice-based physical activity support program for older adults.
Susan Tamkin, a Choose to Move participant and Robin Masters, and activity coach were at the event. They wholeheartedly agreed with Hister and McKay, “I’m wanting a long future. I want to be active... I want to get the most out of my life,” reflected Tamkin on her reasons for becoming more physically active. Masters agreed, “The way to be successful in the aging process is to get out there and get the job done.”
After hearing about the importance and great benefits of physical activity and then participating in an activity, the audience really got moving with a performance of vintage hits by vocal group, The Lady Larks.
The Choose to Move program is implemented throughout BC in partnership with the British Columbia Parks and Recreation Association (BCRPA) and the YMCA. It is just one initiative of Active Aging BC, who partners with the United Way Lower Mainland, and Health Authorities across the province to support physical activity and falls and injury prevention.