Hey there, time traveller! This article was published 13/10/2010 (2691 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Marcel Fraser says it’s important for seniors like him to be active, something that became painfully clear when his wife died three years ago.
"It’s easy to get lonesome," he says, noting he regularly visits family members outside the province. "Being alone, it’s even more important to keep in social contact with others."
The St. Vital resident adds that there are other benefits to being active.
"I have to keep busy because that’s what keeps my health up," he says. "I had cancer seven years ago and so far I’m beating it. I have to be active."
Fraser shares his passion for woodcarving with students at high schools throughout the city and also volunteers at his church, where he gardens and prunes trees. He even does some minor home repairs and painting on the side.
"I used to floor curl but I had to stop because I’m too busy," he says with a laugh.
Fraser was among seniors from across the city that attended the Passport to Healthy Aging: A Forum for Living Well event on Oct. 5.
Presented by Pembina Active Living 55+, the forum explored ways of "living graciously and being active."
"I hope everyone took away with them a fresh perspective on aging and self-care," says Dorothy Lachance, the forum’s co-ordinator.
"Besides striving for good health through exercise, diet and education, living well also involves the acceptance of aging with grace."
Lachance said the forum was an opportunity for seniors to expand their horizons and learn something new.
Another key organizer said the event — which was held at Canad Inns at 1824 Pembina Hwy. and attracted approximately 200 individuals — was successful and inspirational.
"You could feel the energy in the room before the event even started," said Olive Nimblett, president of PAL 55+, who lives in Waverley Heights.
"I didn’t hear one negative comment all day from anyone. Everything went off to perfection."
Nimblett said there were 19 booths at the forum, where visitors were offered plenty of literature to take away, as well as an auction and display tables.
She added that Oct. 6 marked the one-year anniversary of the first meeting of PAL 55+, which meets regularly at Richmond King’s Community Centre.
Isabelle Bossuyt hopes the event will encourage more seniors to discover the joys of being active.
The Fort Richmond resident, who spent much of her life farming in the Oak Bluff area, remains active by leading exercise classes and isn’t afraid to try new things. She volunteered at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and still cherishes the memories she brought back to Winnipeg.
"The atmosphere was wonderful and it was a fantastic experience to see Alexandre Bilodeau come down and win our first gold medal," she said. "It was amazing."
Bossuyt says it’s important to be active because it improves a person’s quality of life and keeps seniors physically and emotionally well. For more information about PAL 55+, call Nimblett at 269-6428. The group is currently looking into starting a dedicated website.