Celebrating Livingstone seniors

Sue Barrett and Margaret Holland enjoy a morning out at the Seniors Month Launch and Oak Tree Expo.

By Matthew Pearce

Connecting with one another has never been more important and especially so for older people.

The official launch of Livingstone Shire’s inaugural Seniors Month, with the theme Social Connections, was held on Friday, 8 October at Yeppoon Town Hall in conjunction with The Oak Tree Expo.

Cr Glenda Mather said Seniors Month allowed people of all ages, cultures, and abilities to connect and celebrate the essential roles older people play in our communities.

“I don’t think enough emphasis goes toward seniors’ needs or their worth,” she said.

“Taking on a whole month to have exercises and entertainment for them to attend is one way of telling them, we value you, you’re the youth of yesterday and we need to hear your stories. We want you to be part of, not just our community, but a part of our lives.

“Unless we listen to them we haven’t really come very far in our lives.”

Cr Mather said the Men’s Sheds of Yeppoon and Emu Park deserved praise for helping give older people a purpose.

“These people have been at a loose end for a long time and it’s like somebody picked up the baton and said your work’s not done, you’ve got a lot of knowledge and we need to put it to use.”

Livingstone Shire Mayor Andy Ireland said seniors were the backbone of our community.

“They are the ones that have actually set us up in our present day with the lifestyle we currently enjoy,” he said.

“They have contributed to our community for years and years and it’s very important to not only to honour them and thank them for their contribution to our community but also for what they can do going forward.

“Because they’re the storytellers, they’re the ones that can convey experiences to us and can continue to shape our future.”

Out of all the events on the agenda for Seniors Month, Cr Ireland said he was most looking forward to October 23’s Classics Ride, which will feature classic cars and motorbikes.

“One of the important things that Seniors Month does is provide a venue and opportunity for seniors to get out and communicate and engage within their own communities,” she said.

“Covid-19 has forced a lot of seniors indoors and it would be a shame to think they would stay indoors because of Covid.

“Restrictions in our part of the world are pretty much non-existent at the moment and flexible enough to allow people to integrate within the community and Seniors Week encourages seniors to get out, be active, be mentally simulated and generally contribute to the community.”

Seniors Month events will include dancing and music, a park run, Men’s Mental Health Talk, fashion parade, Mah-Jong, grandparents playgroup, museum bus trip and more.

Oak Tree Yeppoon manager Jenny Brown said Oak Tree’s four Central Queensland retirement villages allowed seniors to live a relaxed and independent lifestyle in a low maintenance property while enjoying regular social activities, community recreational facilities and the companionship of new friends.

“Seniors Month is important because it lets seniors know what activities, services and groups are available for to them. And it gives them the chance to to enjoy themselves,” she said.

For more information go to www.qldseniorsmonth.org.au

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