Sask Seniors Association June newsletter

Len Fallows
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Just the other day I was sat with a group of friends at their lake home and we were recalling events that had taken place in our younger days and it was then that I realised how important memory and memories were to us all.

Just the other day I was sat with a group of friends at their lake home and we were recalling events that had taken place in our younger days and it was then that I realised how important memory and memories were to us all.

When older people fail to instantly recall something or other we tend to use the expression "senior moment" to cover the inability to bring to mind that word or name that temporarily eludes us. Then there comes the laughs and giggles that tend to cover up the embarrassment of that phase of forgetfulness. Just how important is all that lapse of instant recall when a few moments later the name or word comes readily to mind, but generally by then its too late to mean anything.

How important is that lapse of recall when wives, mothers and grandmothers can without really taking a moment to think about it concoct main dishes, desserts and delicious pies and breads and never once resort to a recipe. Maybe that tells us sometimes of the importance in our lives of the things which we have temporarily forgotten. Of course memory is important to us all for once we start to forget who we are, our names and where we live on a sustained and regular basis then we probably will need some professional help.

Memories however are for me a far more important issue. Memories of the past that recall happier or sadder days are guides as to who we are and who we were. The ability to recall the past is so important to us as we go through life with all its changing structure. The ability to bring to mind those familiar faces of family and friends who have long since departed and the joy we feel when we recall events and happenings that took place in our past cannot be understated. Of course we cannot live in the past but there are times when one gets older that the past becomes of equal if not more important than the present or the future. Probably because our past tells us all about who we are, where we came from, what we did and how we did it.

For some of course the past can be filled with memories that bring a great deal of pain, and for others it will bring moments and indeed hours of pure joy, but whatever the case may be memories are there to remind us of our past lives.

In nearly all the senior centers across the province and indeed across Canada many many hours are spent with seniors reminiscing. That quality of that time when they talk about their early years, their school days, their teens and their adult life cannot be replaced. They talk about their families, they recall events that shaped their lives and in some cases shaped the lives of all Canadians. They talk about parties they had as young people, they talk about the miles they traveled to visit friends and buy groceries and they talk about their family and friends that they miss so much. They talk about the weather in years gone by and they talk and they talk and they talk and in all that talk there is such a great feeling that those good or bad times can never be forgotten. Memories also can be slightly adjusted or fine tuned to make up for all kinds of mistakes we might have made in when we actually recall them, but generally memories will keep us smiling on the dullest of days and also bring some unexpected tears on other days. Sometimes memories are all we have and we should cherish them, good or bad.

Talking about memory brings up the subject of credit card fraud. I understand that in order to combat fraud some major credit card companies are producing credit cards now where we have to use a Personal Identification Number (PIN number) each time we use a credit card. Right now, there are so many numbers a person has to remember that it becomes more and more difficult for older folk to go about their regular lives without the use of a good memory. Either we require a good memory for all these numbers, or we have to resort to carrying those seemingly important numbers with us at all times. If the occasion occurs that we lose our wallet or purse with all our credit cards and all those pin numbers then there will be another case of credit card fraud for the credit card companies to consider. So what have they gained in the case of seniors and I dare say some not so senior people as well. In the meantime you should be advised that credit cards and bank cards do not belong in the same location as a pin number and not to make it easy for credit card fraud to happen to you.

I hope to see many of you seniors at SSAI's convention which will take place at the Tropical Inn in Battlefords on June 9th, 10th and 11th. We will be having some interesting presentations during the convention and of course lots of good discussions about seniors.

I would like to thank all the editors and publishers of the newspapers that have taken the time and space to to print these news letters.

This is the last letter before September 2009, I will be taking the summer off so keep active and stay healthy.

Len Fallows is SSAI President.

Organizations: Sask Seniors Association, Tropical Inn

Geographic location: Canada, Battlefords

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