Diane Hume-Green writes about the importance of on-going social contact, activities and laughter in the lives of our senior community. Diane points out how important a brief conversation and a smile may be to someone living alone.
I recently helped my mother and her fellow Soroptomist Club members with a fundraising games afternoon held at the Lyceum Club rooms in Tauranga. The 50 people who attended got a lovely lunch of soup and rolls and an afternoon of companionship and fun. Games on offer ranged from Bridge, Scrabble, Bolivia, Rummikub and other card games. There was much laughter and banter at the tables. I realised how valuable these types of outings are for the older members of our community. Even the people who couldn’t participate enjoyed watching their friends play a variety of games.
In my neighbourhood a large group of men and woman have a regular walking group which provides and outlet for fitness and friendship. They set a cracking pace too! My sister’s mother-in-law goes to Smooth Movers, which is held at various venues around town and is a low impact exercise class. Tai Chi is also favoured as a regular exercise class.
Standing in line at the local Postshop the lady in front of me said she still pays her bills there (even with the surcharges) as it is a point of contact for someone who lives alone. The thought of everyone sitting in front of a computer to pay all their bills and only hearing automated voices on the phone is not appealing. We need to value the conversations we can all have with our elderly neighbours and people we meet in our community. It may make their day seem a little shorter and bring a smile to our faces as well.
I can’t wait to read 75 year old Jimmy Gilpin’s autobiography, Winners and Grinners. Jimmy won many sailing awards in Tauranga and around NZ. He is a character and it should be a rollicking yarn (excuse the pun). I have been lucky enough to hear anecdotes of sailing in Tauranga Harbour in the mid 40’s to early 50’s from my parents and their former schoolfriends. Sounded pretty cool and lots of fun. Jimmy’s book is available from www.jimmygilpin.co.nz