Elder Wisdom: Part Two of a Two Part Series
Members of the Canton Council on Aging share their words of wisdom.
Part one of our feature on Canton’s Council on Aging looked at the important role that the center plays in the lives of those who are involved with it, as well as some of the vital ways it contributes to the community of Canton. Part Two focuses on an overlooked contribution that the center makes to the community: The wisdom imparted by its elders.
Many aboriginal societies honor elders, and look to them for advice and guidance. The Elder’s Voices website describes Elders as “the knowledge keepers of many…communities.”
Not only is the center a living testament to just how much elders contribute to the community through programs like Meals on Wheels and the gift shop, it reminds the town that a thriving, vital community lives within the walls of the center.
Four dynamic elders, all who attend and volunteer at the Center, generously agreed to share their elder wisdom with our readers:
Her friends at the center fondly recall how Agnes has blossomed since she’s been at the center. “She’s a very intelligent person” and she created and runs the very popular Wii activity programs.
When asked for her words of wisdom, she pointed to some elder wisdom she has received. “I think of a 93-year-old lady who comes to Wii. Like fine wine, we get better with age. I think of us as trendsetters.”
Anne volunteers in the Meals on Wheels program and calls the center’s kitchen her second home. She says that she has always given back, and will continue to do so. It’s part of who she is. Anne’s words of wisdom for us are “I have had a good life. God has been good to me and I love giving back.”
Elaine was a schoolteacher for 35 years. She founded and runs the Gift Shop at the center. Not just her words, but the laughter, playfulness, and sense of humor through which Elaine delivered those words contribute to the wisdom she shares.
“Old age is like adolescence, it’s a lot of fun! It is what you make of it. We have bad days and good days, but we do have a lot of senior moments.”
A volunteer at the center’s front desk, everyone loves Joe Curran. Their affection for him is palpable and he keeps them laughing. “Don’t look back, there’s always today and tomorrow to look forward to," Curran said.
Don't let Joe’s deep wisdom fool you. In a New York minute, the comedy returns.
“You wake up in the morning, and it’s a bonus. When they say “golden age,” they lie!”
Diane Tynan, Director for Council on Aging
Joe Curran does not hide his thoughts on Diane Tynan. He thinks the world of her. Tynan said, “These people really become your family.” That feeling of family is evident between all the elders and with the director. For Canton, Tynan’s words of wisdom are priceless.
“We really care about people in this community. We want them to know that we’re here. We may not have all the answers; we will lead them in the right direction.”
The Canton Council on Aging is located at 660 Washington Street in Canton. Telephone: 781.828.1323