Living the Risk

I attended a talk at the Dunbar Heights United Church; the topic was “Living the Risk”.

Sponsored by the Seniors Working Group and ASK Friendship Society who are members of the Westside Seniors Hub.

There was a panel of three people telling their stories and experiences. Two people living with their aging parents in their homes and one person whom had just made the decision to move to an assisted living home.

Their stories were heart felt and thought provoking.

The keynote speaker was the BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.

She gave us examples of what living the risk meant and said we need to change the thinking  of health care professionals and care givers involved with older adults.

Living the risk as I understand it is a formula to make life decisions considering these factors:

Safety (life threatening or not) (A) + quality of life (B) + personal choices and past life style of the older adult (C) = Happiness.

Now, I am not saying that everyone will be happy with this formula; it may not help the children or others involved with this person to feel completely confident while Mom walks alone down the back stairs, but for the person that has climbed Everest or came out of WW2 alive or both, she will continue through this life in the way she chooses. And yes, there may be a risk.

Isobel Mackenzie spoke with honesty telling us “why the government can’t do it all”.  I appreciate that.

I won’t go into it here because most of us get it.

Through the years I have spoken to many people navigating through government systems only to find road blocks and frustration.  Most of us come to government help care in crisis and end up in a tangled web of bureaucracy with big hoops to jump through.  We crawl our way from point A to point B by way of an automated voice system and once we finally get to Z our situation has changed and we land in yet another foreign place within “the system”.


I think Isobel Mackenzie is on the right track; I just hope she is a good jumper.

Please visit the the BC Seniors Advocate website for more information.