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Celebrating older adults

Recognizing the contributions seniors make
By Dr. Rhonda Collins

Revera was the first company in the Canadian senior living sector to appoint a Chief Medical Officer. In her blog series, Dr. Rhonda Collins offers helpful advice for seniors to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

August 21 is World Senior Citizen’s Day. Established by former US President Ronald Reagan in 1988, its primary purpose is to raise awareness of issues facing our aging population. But it was also meant to celebrate the accomplishments of older adults and their contribution to society. And that’s what Revera’s eighth Report on Aging does.
“We owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute.”

Revera commissioned a national survey of 1,000 Canadians over the age of 65 and held discussion groups with 150 residents living in its Long Term Care Homes and Retirement Residences. We learned that older Canadians are a shining example of community builders as they give more money and volunteer more time than any other age group. Here are some highlights from the report:


  • Canadians over 65 donated more than $4 billion to charity in 2017, which amounts to 42% of all donations;
  • 82% of older adults donate money to the charities and organizations that are important to them;
  • 19.5% of all volunteer hours in Canada are provided by those over the age of 65;
  • 98% of all seniors are concerned with at least one of the following issues: environment, poverty, health care, global security, education and ageism;
  • 94% of seniors believe that Canadians should do all they can to contribute to making a better world.


Hazel McCallion, Revera’s Chief Elder Officer, speaks about living a life of purpose, and she leads by example. She continues to give back to the community, like so many other older Canadians, and there’s good reason to do so. I’ve previously written about the benefits of volunteering including: improving confidence and self-esteem, making new friends, learning new skills, combatting isolation and loneliness and reducing the risk of cognitive impairment. There are physical benefits as well. The promotion of physical activity that volunteering offers helps to maintain strength and mobility, which reduces the risk of falls. In short, helping others helps you.

I wish to offer my congratulations and appreciation to all older adults who have built the world in which we live. I learn so much from talking to you and hearing your stories. I hope future generations will be as dedicated to charity, global issues and volunteering as you are.
Dr. Rhonda Collins, Chief Medical Officer of Revera
By Dr. Rhonda Collins
Dr. Rhonda Collins brings passion and expertise in memory care, dementia, falls prevention and clinical quality improvement to the role of Revera’s Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Collins is a family physician with a certificate of added competence in Care of the Elderly from the College of Family Physicians of Canada.