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What Aging Looks Like: A Picture Book List, with Dogs!

What does it feel like to be old?

It’s so important for children to see positive images of aging. There are many wonderful books about children and their relationship with grandparents or an elderly friend.

In my book, The Old Woman, I write about an old woman who lives alone with her faithful companion, her old dog. Depicting an old woman on her own, gives a child a different view of what aging looks like. Life is not about new adventures anymore but the old woman is not lonely or sad. She relishes the simple pleasures of each new day and revels in the memories and thoughts that float through her mind. Nahid Kazemi’s beautiful illustrations merge with my words to bring the old woman and her dog to life, creating the unique visual landscape of the story.

In the following picture books authors and illustrators explore the themes of aging, intergenerational friendships, loss, and dogs in a myriad of approaches and tones from the sombre to the hilarious.

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Oy, Feh, So?  by Cary Fagan, illustrations by Gary Clement

– am I really related to them?

It’s no …

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When I’m 64: Dorothy Ellen Palmer on Age, Disability, and CanLit

Book Cover When Fenelon Falls

Novelist Dorothy Ellen Palmer (When Fenelon Falls) makes the case that notions of diversity must be broadened to include seniors and disabled people, and that in order for this change to be meaningful, the literary world (and its people) are going to have to change. We dare you not to be inspired and galvanized by the eloquence, passion and common sense displayed in her guest post today.

 And along those lines, please do have a look at With Age Comes Seniority, our list of authors whose writing careers have been established even beyond their fabulous forties. 

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I was born in 1955. I’m 61. I remember the Kennedy assassination, Expo ’67, Woodstock, the moon landing, watching the Beatles on a rooftop and onEd Sullivan, not to mention the night the Leafs won the Stanley Cup. I saw the first Trudeaumania, the Black Panthers, Vietnam protests, AIDS hysteria, the end of apartheid and the Berlin Wall. I attended my first Woman’s Liberation meeting in 1976 and as a young teacher mourned the murder of women students on December 6, 1989. After three decades in my union, one as Branch President organizing strikes to defend education from Mike Harris, after a career combating high school sexism, racism, sexual harassment, and homophobia, I know what it means to devote …

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5 Essential Things the Elder Caregiver Needs to Know

Book Cover Caregiver's Guide to Canadans

The leaves are changing colour, there’s a chill in the air and you have probably scraped frost from your windshield. With the winter season fast approaching, we are reminded that life itself comes with its own seasons, and that our senior years can be life’s winter. At this time of year, caregivers helping seniors will need to become more aware and take more precautions. Rick Lauber, author of Caregivers' Guide for Canadians, has provided us with a list of five essential things the elder caregiver needs to know, based on his own experiences as a co-caregiver. 

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Take care of yourself: Granted, this advice pertains to caregivers year-round; however, caregivers need to more health-conscious during the winter. With all the running around caregivers can do, it’s easy to get run-down. When the body is tired and weak, a person is more apt to become sick. The standard advice of eat well, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep all applies here. If you do get sick, stay away from your loved one to avoid spreading an infection. 

Dress your loved one for the winter: When taking Mom or Dad outside, remember to clothe them appropriately for the cold. Layers, along with a longer parka (extending past the waist), work well to keep one warm. Button/zip-up sweaters wil …

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