The Regional Municipality Of York


Advice to my younger self

What is the best piece of advice, or words of wisdom, you have heard from your parents, grandparents or a senior that you love and respect?

Seniors play an important role in our families and in our communities. From warm, loving hugs to wisdom about life and business, we are able to learn so much from the seniors in our lives. As respected, valued and honoured members of the community, York Region is celebrating seniors on October 1, 2018 as part of International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP). UNIDOP is a United Nations initiative that takes place each year on October 1 and aims to address ageism and educate the world on the positive impact seniors make in communities globally.

York Region’s seniors population is growing faster than any other age group in the Region. By 2026, the Region anticipates there will be more seniors than children. The Region has committed to supporting the health and well-being of our aging population through the York Region Seniors Strategy.

The strategy looks at the changing senior population, it defines our role in serving seniors and sets the course for action to best support the aging population over the next 10 to 20 years.

Key pressures identified in the areas of senior’s finances, mental and physical health issues, the ability to age in place and staying safe and connected to the community all contributed to the the identification of the Region’s four key roles in serving an aging population:

  • Balancing the needs of seniors with all residents
  • Keeping seniors healthier, longer
  • Supporting age-friendly, complete communities
  • Connecting seniors and caregivers to the right programs and services at the right times

The strategy guides present and future planning to balance the needs of all generations. Through the implementation of specific areas of action and advocacy, the strategy will be brought to life.

There are so many reasons to #loveyr. In recognition of International Day of Older Persons and supporting the Region’s Seniors Strategy, join us as we take a trip down memory lane while looking ahead to the future of our great community.

In response to the question “What piece of advice would you give to your younger self”, residents from the one of the Region’s two long-term care homes provided, us with their words of wisdom and pieces of advice to their younger selves. These 10 seniors have helped shape the people, places and things that make our diverse community so great. Showing the grace, beauty and wisdom that comes with aging and providing the future of our community with inspiration, these 10 seniors have helped shape the people, places and things that make our diverse community so great.


"It’s important to always be yourself – and be kind to yourself as well as others".

At 90-years-young, June is a mother of two daughters and one son and is a proud grandmother. A “people person” who has always loved the hustle and bustle of a busy house and a lot of activity, she proudly worked in a railroad office for many years. June has lived at the Newmarket Health Centre for three years and spends her time knitting scarves to donate to the Salvation Army.


"I never knew what love really meant or how many kinds of love existed in the world until I began living in my long-term care home. I have learned to love everybody and feel loved in return!"

A 95-year-old mother of five and grandmother of 12, Mary has dedicated her life to raising her beautiful family. A home filled with love and laughter, a strong bond with her children and grandchildren is her proudest accomplishment. Active in the Newmarket Health Centre, when Mary is not spending time with her family she can be found bowling, playing bingo, walking around the grounds, crocheting, knitting or being social with one of her many friends.


"Don’t count your chickens before they hatch! Be prepared for all possible outcomes".

At 80-something-years old, Toni has lived an incredible life. Along with raising two daughters and a son, she has “a bunch” of grandchildren who adore her. Very social and always looking for something to do, Toni grew up on the stage in London, England alongside her parents who were performers.


"Never doubt yourself. People often think they can’t do something, but really, they can".

Sharron, a 70-year-old mother of two and grandmother of three, was the first Canadian employee of Toyota. Proudly serving her community today as the President of the Ontario Association of Residents Councils, she represents the residents in long-term care homes across Ontario. She enjoys the work and feels pride in providing her fellow residents with a high quality of life.


"Be kind to others. Treat them how you would like them to treat you".

Doris is 96-years-young and is a proud mother of three daughters, seven grandchildren and an astounding 14 great grandchildren. She has lived in the Newmarket Health Centre for over two years and enjoys playing bingo, attending concerts and picnics, joining her large group of friends on bus trips and is very social.


"The bond you share with your mother will guide your choices in life"

A kindergarten teacher, mother of three, grandmother of nine and great grandmother of four, Jo-Anne is a kind, loving and warm resident of the Newmarket Health Centre. Her career as a teacher was very rewarding and she always enjoyed hearing the creative and sweet answers to questions.


"In business, take the time to focus on the details and be a great listener. Presentations and first impressions matter"

James is a 93-year-old father of two and grandfather of five. He worked for the government for many years and prides himself on his rewarding career. As a resident of the Newmarket Health Centre for two years, he enjoys the friendly atmosphere and social activities.


"I always try to help people if I can. It’s the right thing to do".

At 96 years old, Luigi is a funny and charming father of four and grandfather of nine. Born in Frosinone, Italy and living in Canada for 69 years, Luigi has worked as a truck operator, farmer and as a caretaker for the school board. With his strong sense of humour and musical talents, Luigi spends his time entertaining family and friends by playing his accordion, drums, piano and harmonica.


"I have always been happy and I want to make sure others feel the same way – it’s much harder to be mad than to be happy!"

Dora is a 90-year-old mother of three and grandmother of three who was married for 60 years – in her words, her marriage “couldn’t have been any better!” She worked hard to support her family by selling “anything” and loved the excitement, comradery and satisfaction from sales.

Mary H

"Always smile. Always be truthful".

A 92-year-old mother of six and grandmother of 15, Mary led an exciting life raising a large family and working as a secretary for the RCMP. She enjoys living in the Newmarket Health Centre because there is always something fun, exciting and interesting going on – never a dull moment!

Can you think of a piece of advice you would provide to your younger self?

What are some words of wisdom a senior in your life shared with you? Join the conversation and share it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtags #loveyr and #UNIDOP – we cannot wait to hear your stories!

younger,seniors,long term care York Region is celebrating seniors on October 1, 2018 as part of International Day of Older Persons. The Regional Municipality of York en-US News

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