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Struggling to make ends meet by Tina Y. Gerber-McCurley

As Canada grows, so does the aging population. Our population of seniors is projected to increase over the next 10 years. The benchmark for a senior in Canada is traditionally regarded as the retirement age of 65.

As we get older, for some, life becomes better. Many seniors are happy, and feel supported by their friends and families. We grow happier, and less worried, if we've managed to financially secure ourselves, and a healthy solid future for our retirement. Our friendships grow, and we turn our attention away from the unpleasant towards the good.

Unfortunately, especially in recent years, there are those seniors who are feeling the pinch of soaring costs. The situation is all to common across the country, so it's very easy to not be able to make ends meet. Whether it is due to unexpected bills, loss of a job or from a variety of other reasons, many have become depressed, anxious, and report having mental health issues. Many are at risk from nutritional concerns, chronic diseases, and from thoughts of suicide, loneliness and social isolation, especially during the holiday season.

Many seniors are living below the poverty line or with low or moderate incomes and struggle to pay their bills each month. So many individuals need help, whether it's, a single parent, a widower, or a senior who lives alone. Things like, help with paying their rent, utilities, medical bills, for fuel, making food stretch for the month, or even help with snow shovelling,.

Look at your neighbours, friends, and family, do they require help? I remember when I was first on my own, raising my daughters, with a small income: I wouldn't and never have asked anyone for assistance. I was too proud even to ask my own family, yet someone from Church had nominated us to receive help. The local charity organization in town provided us with a Christmas Dinner and all the fixings. Not only did they do that, they provided us with Christmas Gifts. What I remember most was the generosity of people I did not know but who loved and cared enough to help; demonstrating God's love, by helping the less fortunate. That was us.

Individuals are finding themselves in various situations, without a cushion to absorb the increases of food, fuel, or utilities. With inflation at an all-time high, many Canadians are in a state they never thought they'd be in and just putting food on the table has been a common struggle since the onset of the pandemic.

I know we all experience difficulties and problems throughout our lives, but I truly believe God has promised to never leave us in difficulties or forsake us. However, we must remember, God is a gentleman, and values our free choice. He will not force his blessing on our lives, even if we desperately need it. Instead He will wait for us to turn, open up to Him, ask Him in to our lives and then trust in Him, as He can do whatever is essential and help us.

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