When we imagine old age, we tend to picture — and fear — mental decline, physical breakdown, and loss of independence. This week, Piya speaks with people facing additional challenges in the process of getting older... just because of who they are.
Here are the stories from this week's episode...
Mahjong, Chinese chess, singing, and of course, bingo are just some of the activities for seniors living at the Yee Hong, a geriatric care centre in Toronto. Piya visits residents to talk about the value of receiving care in the language they're most comfortable speaking, eating food they're familiar with and having access to cultural activities they enjoy.
Dementia runs in Shoshana Pellman's family. As a transgender woman, she's terrified of losing her memory, her identity and her ability to defend herself. She talks about her concerns, and how difficult past experiences with health care providers due to her gender have fuelled them.
In a life plagued with violence and poverty, Bernie Williams never had the luxury of planning a secure and happy retirement. She survived residential school, domestic abuse and homelessness. Bernie tells Piya about those experiences, and finding some comfort at the Sto:lo Elders Lodge in Chilliwack, B.C.
Stephen Reid is a pro at being in prison. He spent decades behind bars due to his actions with the Stopwatch Gang, a trio of Canadian bank robbers. At 50-years-old, he was sentenced to another 18 years. That's when he realized prison isn't the same as an older man.
Absent proper places to bury their dead loved ones in Canada, many Muslims are repatriating bodies back to their countries of origin. Piya speaks with Chedly Belkhodja, who did just this after his own dad died. Chedley's since traveled across Canada to learn about what Muslims are doing with their dead.
75-year-old Peter Nicoll says thinking young means staying young. But it might have more to do with his exercise routine, considering he's a champion bodybuilder. He talks about bucking the physical decline we tend to associate with old age.
This episode originally aired on October 6, 2017.