Celebrate older Americans

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May is Older Americans Month – a perfect opportunity to show our appreciation for the adults ages 60 and older in our community.

Each year communities in the CSRA have joined in Older Americans Month, a proud tradition that shows our strong commitment to celebrating the contributions and achievements of older Americans.

The theme for Older Americans Month 2012 – “Never Too Old to Play!” – spotlights the important role older adults play in sharing their experience, wisdom and understanding, and passing that knowledge to other generations in significant ways. This year’s celebrations will recognize the value that older adults continue to bring to the CSRA through spirited participation in social and faith groups, service organizations and other activities.

As large numbers of baby-boomers reach retirement age, many communities have increased their efforts to provide meaningful opportunities for older adults – many of whom remain physically and socially active through their 80s and beyond. Current trends show that people older than 60 account for an ever-growing percentage of participants in community service positions; faith-based organizations; online social networking; and arts and recreational groups.

Longtime participation in social, creative and physical activities has proven health benefits, including retention of mobility and cognitive abilities. But older adults are not the only ones who benefit. Studies show that their interactions with family, friends and neighbors across generations enrich the lives of everyone involved. Young people who have significant relationships with a grandparent or elder report that these relationships helped shape their values, goals and life choices, and gave them a sense of identity and roots.

While the CSRA Regional Commission Area Agency on Aging provides services, support and resources year-round, Older Americans Month is a great opportunity to show special appreciation for some of our most beloved citizens. We have many reasons to celebrate them!

Your local Area Agency on Aging is joining in the national celebration of Older Americans Month with activities and events to promote intergenerational engagement and recreation. We invite you to join the fun! Please contact us at (706) 210-2018.

Remember: You are never too old to play!

Jeanette Cummings

Augusta

(The writer is director of the CSRA Regional Commission Area Agency on Aging.)


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