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Ways to Engage Seniors in the Community Through the Mentoring of Others

Seniors form the backbone of a community. They provide a cheerful presence and possess a wealth of information and rich history that can guide and nurture younger generations.

However, in many communities, seniors lack the outlet to share their knowledge or engage with younger community members. Too often their wisdom and guidance go unheard and unnoticed.

Teaching Skills

As the world becomes more and more digitized, life skills and crafts are falling by the wayside. Activities like canning or woodworking are pushed aside in favour of video games and commercial products.

By organizing classes that provide seniors the opportunity to share their knowledge and teach fading arts, a community can provide a valuable outlet for community engagement. By helping younger generations learn helpful skills, seniors can help keep traditions alive for another generation.

Sharing Life Lessons

Almost everyone has lived a life that will sound interesting and exciting to someone who is willing to listen. Seniors, who have lived through many different world events and gone through the stages in life that younger people are still struggling through, can share rich details of their lives.

For those willing to listen and accept advice, the life experience won through years of successes and failures can guide them through their own storms of life.

If a community were to set up a time and space for seniors to meet with others and share their stories and experience, it can be meaningful and significant to everyone involved. Whether through group sharing or one-on-one sessions, seniors can engage the audience with exciting and interesting details while also sharing the lessons they’ve learned that can help others make their own better choices.

Question and Answer Sessions

While some community members would love to sit and listen to the histories and general life lessons that can be shared, others have a need for more specific answers. While not every senior will want to share their lives, those who do will have an integral role in the lives of younger community members.

With a “questions and answers” open forum night at a community hall or an online website, those searching for answers can gain the advice and help of seniors who have walked a similar path. Whether done anonymously or face-to-face, seniors can provide valuable insights and forge friendships with their mentees.

Seniors are valuable members of any community; they have many skills and a wealth of wisdom that can benefit and sustain the community. By organizing classes, sharing sessions and Q & A’s, a community can engage seniors with other members of the community and benefit from their advice and experience.

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you Airdrie Denture Centre for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more.
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