Redefining Retirement project pilot: changing the rules of older adulthood

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Ask someone what they think of when they hear the word “retirement” and more often than not, the usual clichés abound. Golf, travel, sleep, grandkids, hobbies, relaxation, recreation — the list goes on.

To be sure, these are all desirable activities to engage in at almost any stage of life. They bring satisfaction, health benefits and are generally known to improve quality of life. They’ve become the well-known pillars of retirement for a reason.

Over the past decade, however, a growing number of retirees and older adults have begun asking: is there something more I could be doing?

The answer, according to a group behind an innovative new project is: yes.

The project is a pilot called Redefining Retirement, currently in the beginning stages in Yarmouth County, Windsor/West Hants and St. Margaret’s Bay. According to 71-year-old Chris Pelham, one of the project’s leaders, it’s long overdue.

“This is not just a project, but a movement,” he says. “We’ve known for many years that the conventional definition of retirement is incomplete, at best. We’re seeing so many people in their 70s and 80s who want to roll up their sleeves, connect with their communities and have a meaningful impact.”

Pelham explains that the pursuit of this impact is the driving force for the project and could take shape in many ways.

“Through this project, we are going to help older adults start businesses, form task forces, create social enterprises, connect with volunteer activities and make financial investments in their communities. They’ll get to do it in alignment with their schedule, their personal goals, their skills and their resources.”

In other words, he says, they’ll get to pursue meaningful work and activities on their own terms.

One impetus for the project was the 2017 SHIFT Report: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population. This report highlighted the need to change the way Nova Scotians value, promote and support older adults and their contributions to the province.

When Pelham and his partners read the report, they approached the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors with the idea, which they’d been working on for some time.

“The stars aligned perfectly,” he says. “They were asking for Nova Scotians to act on these recommendations and we were ready to answer the call.”

The pilot project will feature several workshops and initiatives in each region, aimed specifically at those aged 60 and up. It is scheduled to last until March 2020 and is set to ultimately become a blueprint for how rural communities engage their older adult populations.

“If we do our job properly,” says Pelham, “we will make it easier for older adults in these communities to mobilize themselves toward common social goals and economically beneficial pursuits. When that happens, rural communities become stronger and more prosperous.”


Hall of Fame Jockey Mike Smith Earns 2nd Kentucky Derby Win


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Mike Smith showed how he got his nickname.

“Big Money Mike” came up with another impressive victory, this time aboard Justify in the Kentucky Derby. He has won in many ways, but Saturday all it took was a big move at the start that gave the horse all the room it needed on a sloppy track to remain unbeaten.

Smith guided Justify to a 2½-length victory over Good Magic in the 144th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs and earned his second Derby victory. It was his first Derby win since 2005 with 50-1 longshot Giacomo. The 52-year-old Smith is the second-oldest Derby winner behind Bill Shoemaker, who rode Ferdinand to victory in 1986 at age 54.

Smith has achieved so much on the big stage, but he doesn’t take anything for granted at his age. Especially a chance to ride a top-flight horse like Justify.

“Just keeping riding horses like this and that’ll keep you around a long time,” Smith said. “You don’t have to work a whole lot; they do all the work for you.”

Smith helped Justify improve to 4-0 and become the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win without racing as a 2-year-old.

And the jockey made it look almost easy racing in pelting rain and on a muddy, crowded track. Smith got Justify near the lead at the start and left the other horses to deal with the muck.

Smith who has 5,456 career wins, was none the worse for wear afterward with nearly spotless green-and-white silks. He is one of the sport’s best-conditioned riders and a keen tactician, a couple of the reasons why trainer Bob Baffert chose Smith to ride Justify after breaking his maiden beneath Drayden Van Dyke. It also is one reason Baffert appeared so calm all week.

The rain and track made Baffert nervous, albeit only briefly, as Justify and Smith ran another impressive race.

“He was just ... he’s all Hall of Fame,” Baffert said. “He came through. That’s a lot of pressure.”

Justify came into the Derby off a three-length win in the Santa Anita Derby and even had a March win in the mud at the California track. Despite concerns about the so-called Apollo Curse continuing, he went off as the 5-2 favorite from the No. 7 post at Churchill Downs.

Smith made sure the horse quickly delivered on the expectations.

He found a hole right away for Justify out of the gate and kept the horse to the outside alongside Promises Fulfilled through the backstretch. He made his move in the far turn and steadily pulled away for his most significant win.

“What happened today is what I have been daydreaming about all afternoon,” Smith said. “I just knew he was capable of this. My job was just to get him out of there. I did that, and the rest is up to him.”

Thirteen years after his previous Derby win, Smith is grateful Saturday with his second.

“I have been blessed to be in this race so many times,” he added. “I’m more relieved right now than anything. I think later on I’ll start getting excited as the days go on.”