Canadians have had 4 federal elections in the past 7 years, and some municipal elections too. So I have rich experience when it comes to ensuring an octogenerian can exercise her vote with ease and comfort. If you are new to the caregiver role, here are some invaluable tactics that have made the voting process easier for me and my octogenarian.
I wish I had taken advantage of advance polling decades ago. If you get there early, the queue is short and the voting process is quick. No stress, no fuss. No juggling the duties of work and the responsibilities of citizenship on voting day.
Check the Paperwork
Don’t leave home without checking the paperwork. My octogenarian hasn’t had a driver’s licence for 8 years. Ensuring she has the proper ID for voting can take a bit of time, which she does for herself. But sometimes the paperwork doesn’t get into the handbag. Take a minute before you leave for the polls – saves a lot of time later.
Listen to their Opinions
Your octogenarian has a world view honed by nearly a century of experience. Mine changed countries; was a fire warden in the underground during the Blitz; and has seen innumerable potentates and dictators fall. You don’t have to agree with their POV. But you’ll be a better voter if you’ve listened. And so will they, because inevitably listening leads to discussion.
Make voting a family affair
Get out the cousins, in-laws, siblings and grand-aunts – make a date to vote as a family at the advance poll. Plan to enjoy breakfast at Cora’s – or your favorite pancake house – afterwards. Turn voting into the event it should be.
If we don’t vote – octogenarians or boomers like me – someone is going to come along and invent a system that takes away our individual right to have our say. Don’t give away through indifference your right to vote or your octogenarian’s right to vote.