I am one of the thousands of baby boomers living here in Conception Bay South and starting to realize how this segment of our population is being ignored when it comes to programs and services in our community.
The realization of just how insignificant we are really hit home in the past few weeks when I started paying attention to the election campaign and what the various candidates have claimed to have achieved, or what they are hoping to do if they get elected.
A couple of candidates have promised more emphasis on seniors or programs and services for all ages. Another potential councillor refers to health and well-being for the 50-plus residents.
At least these few candidates recognize that we are a viable force, and that we constitute 30 per cent of the population in our town and the country.
Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1965 and there are many of us here in C.B.S. There are more to come to the town as hundreds who went away for work are now returning and moving into new homes.
This segment of the population is healthier, richer and more educated than our parents. We want to lead active and healthy lives and be near major services and amenities — thus the reason many are living in C.B.S. and surrounding metro area.
Because of the election campaign, I started looking at what programs and services are available for us baby boomers. I was surprised by what I found, or did not find, here in C.B.S.
I am not looking for healthy living and fitness programs for older adults in wealthy cities and towns in Alberta and Ontario. I am talking about catching up with places like Holyrood or Paradise, which both offer a variety of health and fitness programs for their 50-plus population.
C.B.S., with about 8,000 people older than 50, appears to lag behind these communities in services for this age group.
Yes, there is a regular 50-plus bus tour to places around the region. The pool has some adult swimming programs and shallow-water fitness.
There is a 50-plus club that operates out of Worsley Park, but what they offer is not found on the town’s website or any printed program guides.
The C.B.S. Recreation Complex does not appear to have any town-organized fitness or wellness programs for adults of any age.
It is ironic that the majority of the candidates who are running in next week’s municipal election are baby boomers, or even older. Why is it that they seem to focus on children and youth, and not recognize that there is 30 per cent of the population that needs more attention?
The town’s recreational facilities — pool, soccer and ball fields, stadium, and parks and playgrounds — are all designed with children and youth in mind.
The town’s recreation and leisure services department offers Christmas, Easter and summer camps, which are focused almost exclusively on children.
We have a youth advisory council to provide input into programs and services for this age group. Why not a similar advisory council for baby boomers?
I am not suggesting that children and youth programs be curtailed for adults, but that our town recognize we baby boomers want and expect more. We want what others in the region have realized is important to serve the growing, older population.
We should have fitness programs, healthy living programs, computer classes, art workshops and, most of all, recognition that we are a vital part of our community.
Joan Butler is a lifelong resident of Kelligrews,
Conception Bay South. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.