Lillian Parker | Episode #68

Lillian Parker skydiving photoHosts Kathy Buckworth and Evelyn Brindle had the joy of chatting with the remarkable Lillian Parker, a resident at The Village of Riverside Glen in Guelph, who has an extraordinary story to share.

Lillian is a true thrill-seeker. She recently went skydiving and described the experience as "fantastic" and "better than a bird." Even though she broke her ankle upon landing, her enthusiasm for adventure hasn’t dimmed one bit. Lillian shared her lifelong love for flying, having also tried gliding and hot air ballooning. She’s already eyeing her next adventures: helicopter rides and zip lining.

Lillian’s story is about more than just the thrill of skydiving — it’s about inspiring others to step out of their comfort zones. She encourages everyone to seize new experiences, no matter their age. Her adventurous spirit shows that you’re never too old to set new goals or dream new dreams.

We were also joined by Bryce McBain, the General Manager at Riverside Glen, who was instrumental in organizing the skydiving experience. Bryce shared how the idea came from a younger resident’s bucket list and quickly gained traction, leading to 32 residents, team members, and family members taking the plunge over the summer of 2023.

Bryce emphasized that age should never be a barrier to living life to the fullest. He highlighted how such experiences help residents forget their limitations and embrace the joy of living. With the support from the community and the Schlegel Villages team, these adventures became a reality, proving that with the right support, anything is possible.

As we wrapped up the episode, we reflected on the importance of stepping outside our comfort zones and the value of elder wisdom in combating ageism. Lillian’s story is a powerful reminder that life is meant to be lived fully, no matter your age.

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The Green Bench is a symbol of elder wisdom. 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 of reverence.

”The greatest untapped resource in Canada, if not the world, is the collective wisdom of our elders.” -Ron Schlegel