Winter is tough on seniors

This winter has been tough on everyone it seems. People were fighting flu, colds, gastros and every other ailment that seems to strike during the winter months. For those of us who are lucky enough to have strong immune systems, we powered through though. We got up, went to work, took care of our families and carried on.

For those who have weak immune systems or can’t just pick themselves up and get on with it, such as isolated and vulnerable seniors, it was probably more difficult than we can imagine.

For example, you may remember the weekend of heavy rain which turned into ice pellets that soon left roadways, driveways and sidewalks under a sheet of ice. WICA received a frantic call from a senior citizen who literally could not leave her home for fear of falling. For most of us, it was difficult but not impossible. We put down sand or salt and maybe chipped away at the ice until it was manageable. Imagine feeling like a prisoner in your own home? Imagine the isolation and sense of helplessness you feel when a few feet of ice-covered steps stands between you and your nearest neighbor, your grocery store, pharmacy or doctor?

This is the reality of our West Island seniors who strive to maintain independence in their own homes. They’ve worked hard to create a meaningful life in their community. They’ve raised their families, contributed to the economy by working until retirement, paid their taxes, so why shouldn’t they reap the rewards of their hard work?

This may not be our reality today or even tomorrow, but aging is inevitable and your quality of life in that third or fourth age depends on what support system surrounds you.

Bette Davis once said, “Old age ain’t a place for sissies.” Ain’t that the truth.