Senior’s Week took over the Town of Strathmore from June 6 to 12, with several activities taking place every day during the week for local seniors to get out and enjoy.
Events across town included everything from bridge and crib tournaments at the Happy Gang, to a carnival at the Wheatland Lodge with party games and scooter demos.
Melissa Masse with Strathmore Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), spoke to a workshop that was held on June 7 regarding brain health for seniors.
“Seniors gathered for a workshop on senior’s brain health to talk about healthy living, wellbeing, and community connection. The workshop more importantly offered an opportunity for seniors to come together to celebrate senior’s week, share coffee and share a few laughs,” said Masse. “Isolation over the last two years has impacted the lives of many, especially seniors, and it was important to offer opportunities to reconnect with each other as well as community organizations and services. It filled our hearts to see a room full of community members reconnecting following COVID-19.”
The workshop was hosted in partnership between Strathmore FCSS and Bridging the Gap.
That same afternoon seniors were treated to refreshments and cake at the Strathmore Happy Gang during their annual Strawberry Tea.
Sue Tripp with the Happy Gang said the tea began being hosted on an annual basis roughly 15 years ago and has always been in line with senior’s week.
Attendance at the event was reportedly down from previous years and was estimated to be due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19 by some members. Despite this, roughly 90 people attended the event to enjoy the company and community offered.
Recognized annually across Alberta, Senior’s Week has been hosted since 1986 to celebrate the contributions of seniors to local communities.
“We’re celebrating Senior’s Week. Each year, we try to do something really special for the residents and this year, because we were kind of limited for the past couple of years with COVID-19, we decided we wanted to try to add to their carnival day,” said Christie Shworak, resident manager of the Wheatland Lodge. “Once a year we do the carnival thing and next to Mother’s Day and a few things that have taken place, this is a big event for them, especially when they can invite family and friends.”
This year marked the third time the lodge has hosted a carnival for its seniors to celebrate. Shworak said the motivation behind getting it off the ground was to do something very different than anything else going on around town.
“The biggest highlight is just the responses that we always get after the event,” said Shworak. “The residents always thank us, they (feel) that they’re really taken care of, they like the opportunities to try the scooters and visit with friends.”
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times