SHARON BLADY, Minister of Healthy Living and Seniors, for Lifestyles 55

Manitoba is fortunate to be home to many senior centres located throughout the province. They are a great community focal point for healthy living and active aging opportunities. Most places have a wide range of activities from card and game clubs, to active living and exercise programs, to presentations about the latest health information.

Many centres offer day trips throughout the province to learn about other communities and participate in special events. This is an excellent way to stay connected and maintain a social support network. Research shows that staying socially connected and participating in society is an important part of healthy aging.

Age & Opportunity: Support Services for Seniors provides an innovative program called Senior Centre Without Walls for those who may be socially isolated. Through the telephone, you can access a variety of options including seminars about a wide range of topics including travel, health and wellness information. Through the program you can also get involved in book clubs, classes, bingo and other games, conversation groups and special local celebrity events.

If you want to share your time and skills through volunteering, check out your local senior centre. They can put you in touch with organizations looking for people with administrative skills, those able to teach courses on areas of expertise or people who can help organize special events. Many centres also offer meal programs and other services to support aging in place in your own community.

You will find that Manitoba’s centres provide a variety of programs that will appeal to people aged 55 to 105! There are many active living choices, options for those who may have mobility challenges and opportunities for those who want to exercise their brain. The Manitoba Association of Senior Centres is an excellent place to learn more about centres in your area and what they offer.

The Manitoba Seniors Guide, published by the Manitoba seniors and healthy aging secretariat, also offers a wealth of information about seniors programs and services throughout the province. Please phone 1-800-665-6565 to receive a copy or visit gov.mb.ca/shas/publications/index.html.

As always, I invite you to contact the seniors information line with any comments, questions or for more information. Call 204-945-6565 in Winnipeg; toll free 1-800-665-6565.

— Visit Lifestyles55