There are people who love running, and then there’s Harriette Thompson. At 92 years and 93 days old, she became the oldest woman to ever complete a marathon, according to The Washington Post. By mere days, she beat out Gladys Burrill, who was 92 years and 19 days old when she finished the 2010 Honolulu Marathon.
With a background in physiotherapy and occupational therapy, Stacey started out her career at Leamington Hospital as a Rehab Assistant—a position she proudly held for almost ten years. While working full time at the hospital, she decided to continue her education and concurrently pursue studies in gerontology. For Stacey, gerontology seemed like the perfect fit, as she enjoyed caring for and interacting with senior patients, and had always harboured a sense of admiration for the elderly that largely stemmed from the love of her own grandmother. “I knew early on in life that I wanted to care for seniors. With them, I feel a sense of comfort that’s hard to put into words.”
According to Brenda, the reason she has continued to flourish in the retirement living industry is because of her love and appreciation for seniors. “I take great pride in being a part of my residents’ everyday lives,” she reveals. “I can be a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on if they need it. My heart is warmed every time a resident trusts me enough to open up and share their story.”
“Bold, crazy and poignant” may not seem like words typically used to describe a dance performance by seniors, but for one group of artists, they’re quite accurate. Festival TransAmériques recently reported on the Dancing Grandmothers, an artistic dance group that features seniors between the ages of 60 and 90, and described the show as inspirational for all generations.
When a resident at Chartwell James Street Retirement Residences in Bracebridge, Ontario, recently passed away, fellow residents and staff were inspired to put even more effort into their new charitable initiative. They worked together to make a large contribution to the Kidney Clothes Donation Program, a volunteer activity that they’d started months before. In honour of their friend, they kicked up the intensity for what was possibly the greatest charitable donation in Chartwell James Street’s history.
When Chartwell Willow resident June Knight was 8 years old, she began knitting clothing and accessories for her and her family to enjoy. Ever since then, she’s loved the activity, and has even used her knitting skills to help others. After knitting a doll for her granddaughter—who was undergoing a medical procedure at the time—she noticed how much relief and comfort the doll gave her.
June’s blooming flowers and warm weather provide the perfect backdrop for honouring our older loved ones. This month, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nunavut are all celebrating Seniors’ Month with various activities and initiatives meant to highlight the extraordinary civic contributions of today’s older adults. Last week, British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories also held an entire week devoted to seniors.
On April 23, the mayor and council of Maple Ridge—along with two representatives from The Alzheimer Society of British Columbia—gathered together at Chartwell Willow Retirement Residence. They were joined by 40 residents and their family members for an unforgettable event.
Although movies and TV shows often showcase some of society’s best-known celebrities, the growth of social media has also created a popular method for discovering stardom: YouTube. That’s where Judy Graham, a senior who regularly knits during her retirement years, made her claim to fame, reported Senior Planet. Each week, she uploads a new instructional video teaching viewers how to create fascinating knitting patterns.
On April 10, Brenda May, resident at Chartwell Royalcliffe Retirement Residence in London, Ontario, celebrated her 100th birthday. She enjoyed the day with a celebration at the residence that included over 85 of her closest friends and family, as well as distant relatives that traveled all the way from England to help her ring in a new century.