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Every woman counts


Three active women laughing and hugging

Celebrating senior women and all women this International Women’s Day

People over the age of 65 are the fastest growing segment of Canadian society. Coupled with that, approximately 58% of people over 65 years of age in Canada are women.(1) Not only is the proportion of senior women overall projected to increase, but so is the share of women aged 80 and over. In fact, the percentage of that age group is expected to become closer to that of girls aged 14 and under in the coming decades.(2)

This International Women’s Day let’s celebrate all the women in our lives, and especially the senior women who have guided us, nurtured us, inspired us, and loved us.

“Regardless of age, background or socio-economic status, all women play a vital role in our lives”

This year, Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Every Woman Counts,” and the global theme is “Embrace Equity.” All women, regardless of age, background, or socio-economic status, play a vital role in our society and in our lives; let’s celebrate them.

At Revera, we honour and recognize women every day. 84% of Revera’s employees identify as women, including thousands of incredible front-line employees in our long term care and retirement homes, who care for our residents, as well as salaried and executive roles in Revera’s Support Office: 74% of Revera’s salaried employees, more than 53% of all directors, and more than 71% of all VPs are all women! I’m proud to work for an organization that lifts women up; it sends a powerful message to young girls looking to their futures in the workplace, and especially for those interested in pursuing a career in the senior living sector. And speaking of women, did you know that nearly 71% of Revera’s retirement residents are also women?

All these incredible members of the Revera family represent our moms, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and best friends. And, with them in mind, I would like to share tips on keeping our senior female role models fit, happy and healthy as they age in their autumn years. Here are some of my top healthy living tips for the important senior women in our lives:

  • Stay active to lower your risk of falls and fractures. Bone-healthy calcium and vitamin D are paramount. Aim for 1500 mg of calcium daily. Weight-bearing and bone-building exercises such as walking and strength training exercises, are super important. If you’ve fallen in the past, talk to your healthcare provider about prevention programs that include balance, flexibility, and stretching exercises. Learn more about our approach to your health and wellness.

  • Exercise extends to your brain. Join a book club or sign up for a class. Do word and number puzzles. Challenge your brain by trying new things. Something as simple as brushing your teeth with the opposite hand helps create new connections between neurons in your brain. Learn more about the dimensions of wellness.

  • Add some rainbow to your diet. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Go for the deep greens, yellows and oranges like spinach, carrots, and cantaloupe. Keep your bones strong with two daily servings of calcium and Vitamin D like yogurt and cheese. And choose heart-healthy proteins like fish, twice a week. Read one of my earlier articles where I talk about adopting a wellness focus.

  • Take medications and vitamins only as directed and get vaccinated. Your healthcare provider should review all your medicine and make sure they are still safe and providing benefit, as this can change as we age. Flu, COVID boosters, shingles, and pneumonia vaccines are all especially important. Confirm with your healthcare provider that you are up to date.

  • Wellness means getting regularly screened. From diabetes, to cholesterol, to bone density, to vision, and dental checks, and more, get screened. Screening tests help diagnose health problems early. Ask your healthcare provider about tests that might be right for you.

I would love nothing more than to sit down with all senior women and share even more healthy lifestyle tips. For now, I urge you to explore Revera’s Health & Wellness page.  

1. Health Canada, The Health of Senior Women
2. Statistics Canada, Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report

Dr Rhonda Collins

By Dr. Rhonda Collins

Dr. Rhonda Collins brings passion and expertise in memory care, dementia, falls prevention and clinical quality improvement to the role of Revera’s Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Collins is a family physician with a certificate of added competence in Care of the Elderly from the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

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