A new TV show coming out of Trent’s Centre for Aging and Society promises to explore the dynamic, diverse and multi-faceted lives of older adults in the Peterborough region in a fun way – and it’s being guided by three women over 65.
The Age-Friendly Peterborough (AFP) Community Report will be produced by Justin Sutton ’09, the strategic relations and communications officer at the Trent Centre for Aging and Society (TCAS), and will air on YourTV (formerly Cogeco) later this year. Mr. Sutton says old age is often portrayed in very one-dimensional ways on television that doesn’t represent the true breadth of experiences that people over 60 have. “We want more diverse voices for our show – and we want it to be fun too.”
An initiative of Age-Friendly Peterborough, and with funding from the Peterborough chapter of the United Way, the program will be made up of four to six minute segments, panel discussions, and interviews exploring issues that range from housing to LGBTQ to social isolation and much more. It will air approximately every month for 30 minutes, but will also be available online to ensure it reaches viewers in the county and Curve Lake First Nation. With support from the Trent Centre for Aging & Society, the mandate of the show is to explain Peterborough’s Age-Friendly Community Action Plan as well as TCAS led research to the broader community.
Experiential Learning at Work
“Tackling these issues really does benefit everyone,” Mr. Sutton says, noting that this is a multi-generational project with four students on the team. Rasikh (Raz) Khan ’14, a Media Studies and Political Science double major, got involved in the project to get hands-on experience and because he “likes the idea of using media as a platform to address social issues.”
“Back home in Thailand there is the idea that we treat our elders better than they do in the west. At home we think the elders must stay with you no matter what. We wouldn’t put them away in a retirement home. It’s a misconception though. I’ve noticed in the last four years being in Canada, that the facilities are a lot better here. The facilities in Thailand are underfunded and overcrowded and don’t have qualified professionals…so basically if you are wealthy enough to afford care like that, you would just have it in your home,” Mr. Khan says. “This project is giving me the chance to explore the Canadian perspective.”
The volunteer task force guiding the show is comprised of three local women; Mary Gordon, a former radio producer, Karen Carter Edwards, a retired history teacher, and community advocate Carol Koeslag.