What defines the word "old"?

“Creative Aging is about possibilities, freeing ourselves of limiting beliefs about aging and embracing the reality that individuals continue to grow, learn and contribute to their communities throughout the life journey.”
-President’s Creative Challenge 2012/2013 – Sheridan College

Is age really just a number? Do we define our fate? Is our ability to complete a task, any kind of task, all in our head? Are we really our own worst enemy? These questions, along with many more, are being asked every day in our community. We are aging, and we are living longer. And as a result, we are constantly trying to find the answers as to why we are able to, and how we can continue to do so.
When you think of getting older, what do you picture? Finally being able to get your drivers license? Voting? Moving off to college or university? Getting married? Getting that promotion you always wanted? Retiring, then travelling the world? Or, sitting with family and reminiscing about when you were younger? Getting older brings us to events in our lives that wouldn’t necessarily be attainable unless we turned a significant age. And when we do reach that phase that marks our ability to participate in a task we were unable to do so before, we feel a sense of accomplishment. Yes, I did it!
Every second I write this post I am aging, every second you read it you are too. But there are some who are already at a significant age that suddenly has the world on its feet asking, “What are we going to do next?” According to Statistics Canada, “seniors are already the fastest-growing age group in Canada and by 2051, one-quarter of the population will be part of the 65+ club.”
And as a result, The Globe and Mail reports, that many people are starting to answer that question:
“Researchers in engineering and occupational therapy are teaming up to create senior-friendly vehicle designs so older Canadians can safely enjoy the independence of driving later in life. A pathology and molecular medicine expert is studying how eating probiotics can work as a defense against respiratory infections — a leading cause of death among seniors. A nursing professor is testing the effectiveness of a program that would teach seniors with diabetes how to self-manage their disease.”
Sheridan College is also doing it’s own part by introducing the President’s Creative Challenge 2012-13. This “provides a unique opportunity for Sheridan students, faculty, staff, administrators as well as external business/community representatives to examine this demographic shift through a creative lens.”
Sheridan wants to invite one and all to connect, get involved and propose innovative ideas and solutions to Creative Aging: Designing Communities for all Ages. Sheridan wants you to revolutionize and create, and express what you think will make a “fundamental change in society.” If you are a student, you can submit a project idea. Members of the community can participate by being mentors to these students.
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