Old Growth, a series of 11 half-hour radio shows about life after 65, will begin airing on Kootenay Co-op Radio (KCR) on November 7.
The series was produced by writer and broadcaster Bill Metcalfe.
“Several of the episodes are stories of local seniors who are highly functional and on the move, and what we can learn from them,” he says. “Others are about harsh realities that come with getting older. I have tried to balance those two sides.”
In the “on the move” category, there is a round-table discussion with four local senior athletes (Wilma Turner, Barb Saunders, Michael Pratt and Lex Baas).
“These people were amazing,” says Metcalfe. “They were really upbeat about their lives.”
And there’s another group discussion with four senior artists (John Cooper, John McKinnon, Tsuneko Kolubo and Verna Relkoff).
“It was a good one,” Metcalfe says, “because of the importance of the arts in Nelson. What’s it like for a veteran artist to get old?”
In another episode, veteran yoga teacher Karuna Erickson speaks frankly about how age is slowing her down, but there’s a up-side to that: she can now pay more careful attention to the subtleties and the details of the workings of her body and mind.
And there are some episodes that are clearly about decline and loss. Senior advocate Joan Reichardt talks about the lives of women over 80 who are single and poor. Linda Hoskin of the Alzheimer’s Society shares the mic with local residents Cal and Loree Renwick, and together they tell the story of Cal’s father’s Alzheimer’s. KCR broadcaster Mike Chapman awakens us to the impact of seniors losing their drivers licences.
The series was funded by a New Horizons for Seniors grant from the federal government.
“We’re really excited to be doing this series,” says Kootenay Co-op Radio’s station manager Jay Hannley.
“KCR is proud of the work Bill had put into this program and is excited to share it with all of you This series is essential listening, not only for seniors but for all of us who are really just ‘seniors in training’.”
The series also includes episodes on seniors’ health, stereotypes, elder abuse, activist seniors, learning, relationships between old and young people, and the essential components of an age-friendly community.
Podcasts of the series will be available on the KCR website at cjly.net.
For more information contact Kootenay Co-op Radio station manager Jay Hannley at 352-9600, or series producer Bill Metcalfe at 352-7670.