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DON’T CALL ME ELDERLY: According to the American Society on Aging, middle-aged and older adults dislike terms like "old," "senior citizen" and "baby boomer." And don’t even mention "elderly," which they really dislike.

This is why the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) settled on ZOOMER, as the title of its new magazine. "A zoomer is a boomer with zip," Moses Znaimer, executive director of CARP explained. "It has a certain optimism to it. It means, ‘I’m not done yet’."

Upbeat and glossy, CARP’s new magazine touts a "new vision of aging for Canada." ZOOMER is published nine times a year. A magazine subscription, including CARP membership costs $19.95. Similar magazines include AARP The Magazine (U.S.) and Heyday (U.K.).


GRANDPARENTS, PARENTS AGAIN: Thousands of grandparents are raising their grandchildren in Canada. Some estimates suggest that over 60,000 children are being raised by a grandmother or aunt. Grandparents are finding the second time round tough, on a tight budget. Many of the children have fetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit disorder or learning disabilities.

Over a decade ago, when Betty Cornelius (McArthurs Mills, Ontario) began looking after her granddaughter, Ashley, she felt isolated and alone. Today, Cornelius is founder and president of CANGRANDS, a thriving non-profit organization with chapters across Canada and membership of close to 600.

Currently, CANGRANDS is lobbying the provincial government to provide financial support to grandparents and other kin raising grandchildren. As Cornelius told CBC reporter Sherry Drysdale, "Grandparents who fight to keep their grandchildren out of the foster care system are saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars."


RENTAL COMPANY FORCED TO REMOVE BAN ON OLDER DRIVERS: In a recent settlement, Irish Car Rentals was forced to scrap a ban on renting vehicles to drivers over 75 and imposing an automatic surcharge on drivers over 70, amounting to an increase of 33 per cent on the normal rental cost. This, after Brother Anthony White, 78, won his case against the company. Eamon Timmins of Age Action Ireland welcomed the settlement. He said the case highlighted the "blatantly ageist policies" of some companies.


CHILDREN CALL FOR LEADERSHIP ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Recently, the United Nations Environment Program invited children around the world to express their fears and hopes for the planet through art. Organizers of Paint for the Planet received nearly 200,000 entries. The winning entries will travel to various climate-related events around the world, before arriving at the Leaders Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009.

In Keeping Our Cool: Canada In a Warming World (Viking Canada), 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Andrew Weaver presents the facts on climate change. He reveals how governments, organizations and individuals can work together to protect our grandchildren’s future.

Finally, to everyone who helps make our bulletin special – our readers, contributors and supporters: thank you. And blessings for 2009. – Ruth Dempsey, Editor.