Seniors, all powerful!
It’s National Seniors Day. And while October 1st marks the official day we honour our seniors, it’s also a great occasion to learn more about them! My fellow Quebecers, how little you really know about your elders. But it’s not your fault! Your perceptions are continually tainted by the media, which usually talk about seniors in terms of their illnesses and weaknesses—not to mention their drain on society. On top of that, you’re exposed to advertising that depicts them mainly as grandmas and grandpas. In my privileged position of being able to rub shoulders with seniors on a daily basis, I can tell you that they are more, much more than that!
For over 25 years, my professional reality has bestowed me the good fortune of being directly
involved in the lives of thousands of seniors. Since Le Groupe Maurice’s beginnings, I’ve made it my
mission to get to know the elderly in great detail; both in terms of their aspirations and their needs.
This conscious, ongoing effort has privileged me, in the sense that I truly realize and appreciate their
immense value. Unfortunately, not everyone is as fortunate as I’ve been.
With that said, I respectfully urge you not to let the mainstream media influence your opinion
of our senior population. Believe me, there are so many wonderful things to learn about seniors,
instead of the usual dramas and hardships related to their vulnerabilities. It is a serious mistake as a
society, and profoundly unfortunate, to ignore a group of people at this critical point in our collective
If you knew of their countless hidden talents, vital legacies and venerable accomplishments that
contributed to building the Quebec we know today, you would realize that we owe our seniors
everything. Today, women can vote, workers are treated fairly, institutions are enshrined… all thanks
to those who blazed the trails before us. Every day, I have the honour of seeing through eyes that
have seen so much. Men and women who have defended our values and sustained our heritage.
Add to this their community involvement and growing numbers, and you can quickly appreciate
how important seniors are to our society.
The critical role seniors play as agents of change in our communities has always been evident to me.
Today’s data supports my observation: In Quebec, one in five people is elderly, and of these, about
74% voted in the last federal election. No other age group has more than one vote out of four, and no
other generation does as much volunteer work as seniors do. Isn’t this where seniors’ power resides?
Considering our collective needs, it’s obvious that their accomplishments, experiences, contributions
and support are essential to us. Why then, do we not listen to seniors more? Well from now on, I
say we must! The fact that I’ve been so deeply deeply immersed in the senior residence sector for
decades gives me the right—indeed the obligation—to shout it from the treetops.
So I take this symbolic day to put down a few of my thoughts, which I hope will impart my belief in
senior power and the urgency with which we must change public perception. I would be elated if we
as a society could return to the days when the wisdom of our elders was held in the highest esteem,
and their prominence was seen as essential to ensuring our long-term survival.
Founder and President, Le Groupe Maurice
Discover the website lepouvoirdesaines.com/eng and share your own thoughts on the place of seniors in our society by using the hashtag #seniorpower.