Older Canadians highlighted in Kelowna film project to fight ageism

The project is part of a campaign to combat ageism

Several residents from Kelowna’s The Dorchester Retirement Residence starred in short films that premiered on Jan. 16.

The short films, produced by young filmmakers, showed older Canadians’ resilience and how their spirits don’t age. The senior stars also shared some of their experiences and the lessons they’ve learned.

The project is part of a campaign called Age Is More, launched by Revera Living, the company that owns The Dorchester.

One of the night’s stars was Ralph Milton, a retired television producer and radio broadcaster. He worked with youth filmmaker Samantta Villanueva. Their short film explored what else life has to offer outside of one’s career: poetry, photography, and philosophy – and how to enjoy it with the life and strength you still have left.

“I don’t think old age begins at 65 … old age begins when something happens in your life that says ‘you are no longer just a senior, you are now old.’ And that can happen at any time in your life,” Milton said.

“One of the mistakes we make is viewing death as something terrible, awful and bad. But it’s not … I think that’s something that we need to have at this stage of life: the ability to see that life has been good, you’ve had many gifts, and though yes you may have arthritis in all your limbs and you can’t see very well and your hearing is gone, there is still beauty and goodness in life and the people that you meet and the things you can still do.”

Villanueva said working with Milton was a great experience, especially because of all the things she learned from listening to his stories.

“For me, it was interesting, especially because of his life experiences and the content he was giving me for this short film. There was so much more information and beautiful stories he was giving me than I could put into the film,” she said.

She also said she hoped people who see the film will learn and see life through Ralph’s eyes.

“I think it’s inspiring and I hope that at least a few of the audience members will walk away feeling inspired. I hope that they can share in the joy that Ralph sees in life,” she said.

Other films shared residents’ hard times and how they got through them, and what they do to keep themselves fit and healthy now that they’re a little older.

To watch the short films, visit Revera Retirement Living’s Facebook page.

READ MORE: Low-income seniors make up 42 per cent of people on Okanagan affordable housing waitlist

READ MORE: The power of Pets and Seniors


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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