Last Words


Olive struggles with the knowledge that she and other seniors' activists are not making the progress they need in Prince Edward Island. Reasons relate to a cacophony of messages that obscure the real needs for government officials, politicians, and the general public, so the ongoing question is how to get the voices for seniors heard in the right places.

Olive cautions others to be attentive as to who is included in service planning and keep an ear out for how seniors may be erased from public and organizational discussions. This is where activists must be prepared to step in and create a key lobbying presence. Unless seniors are willing to go on boards, older adults are forgotten. There is talk about the special needs and interests of other groups such as children, families, and women, but older adults are too often invisible.

Two or three years ago, the government launched their Healthy Living strategy and I attended to find out what programs or services would be there for seniors. When I asked, "What are your healthy living strategies for older adults?" the response was, "Oh well, nothing right now". So I said, "Well, we have an aging population, what are you going to do?" They don't know; nothing was being done. How can a healthy living strategy completely ignore a whole segment of the population?

This is the question that Olive takes forward into her own determined activism, and the question she leaves with others to inspire and provide incentive to act.

Hope for the future

Olive has great faith in upcoming seniors or those known as "boomers", because they are good at getting what they want and she thinks they'll demand more when they're older. Another factor that she sees will make a difference is "a different breed of seniors coming up who have made their independence," who will be sure to get the facts right and vote for those who will do the best job and not just on the basis of belonging to a particular party. These visions fortify Olive in her hope for the future of activism for seniors.

They are hearing them [express their needs], but there are too many pressures from other places, so they are not acting on them.