The long-established Wisdom of the Elder Signature Program within Schlegel Villages has led to the launch of a new podcast as part of an over-arching #ElderWidsom campaign to help combat ageism in our society.
The podcast series debuted on Oct. 13 and takes the idea of the Green Bench campaign, which invites conversation between generations, to listeners around the world virtually under the stewardship of hosts Erin Davis and Lloyd Hetherington. Davis, a former morning show radio host with 98.1 CHFI in Toronto and Hetherington, a conversationist who has travelled the world and now lives at The Village of Riverside Glen in Guelph, bring a natural inquisitiveness to their conversations with guests.
“The Green Bench is a symbol of Elder Wisdom,” Davis said during the introduction to the fourth episode of the podcast. “Physically or virtually, the bench invites us all to sit alongside a senior, share a conversation or give and offer advice. It challenges the stigma seniors face; the ageism still so prevalent in society. It reminds us of the wealth of wisdom our elders offer and, in doing so, helps restore them to a place a reverence.”
Ted Hudson is one of the creative minds behind the #ElderWisdom campaign and the development of the podcast. He worked directly alongside seniors as a recreation director in The Village of Riverside Glen before taking on the role of Online Engagement Manager for Schlegel Villages.
He says the green bench and #ElderWisdom recognizes that everyone has a unique story to tell, especially as they navigate a changing world over the course of decades. They transition through all of life’s stages facing triumph and tragedy, and some of the most remarkable lessons in life can be learned through a simple conversation with an older adult.
“Ron Schlegel, the founder of our organization and senior himself, once said that the greatest untapped resource in Canada, if not the world, is the wisdom of the elder,” Hudson says. “This podcast is an opportunity to tap into that through conversations exploring the extraordinary lessons of ordinary people.”
After five initial episodes, #ElderWisdom: Stories from the Green Bench, has been renewed for 26 episodes to carry the series through the end of 2021 and a growing number of fans are looking forward to it.
“The life experiences of our elders have always held a dear place in my hearts,” commented listener Debbie-Spooner-Garbutt. “They really are walking history books that connect us to the past in a remarkable way.”
The story of struggling to work in the 1950s as a young mother, as guest Louise Jolliffe shared, or the humourous recollection of serving the Queen Mother during a visit to Canada decades ago as guest Douglas Robinson shared during episode one, flow naturally as Davis and Hetherington steer the conversation. The latest episode, released on Dec. 8, tackles the concept of ageism directly with guest Barry Hickling, a resident of The Village of Aspen Lake.
“What a terrific concept for a podcast,” commented Shellie Wilson. “I have subscribed and will savour the wisdom from these beautiful people who have lived through some of the biggest changes throughout history.”
The upcoming episodes through 2021 will not only celebrate wisdom, but also the beautiful diversity that is the fabric of the Canadian experience, Ted says. “Within Schlegel Villages alone, there are seniors who came to Canada from all over the world,” he says, “overcoming prejudice, in many cases, and today helping to challenge outdated views on what it means to grow old.”
“We look forward to spreading out across Canada, and can’t wait to share these stories.”
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Listen, subscribe rate & review on: Apple // Google // Spotify // iHeartRadio // Podbean // TuneIn // Amazon // Podcast Addict or ask your smartspeaker to play ElderWisdom Stories from the Green Bench.