May is Older Americans Month, a perfect opportunity to show our appreciation for the older adults in our community.
Since 1963, communities across the nation have joined in the annual commemoration of Older Americans Month—a proud tradition that shows our nation’s commitment to celebrating the contributions and achievements of older Americans.
The theme for Older Americans Month 2012 — "Never Too Old to Play!"— puts a spotlight on the important role older adults play in sharing their experience, wisdom, and understanding, and passing on that knowledge to other generations in a variety of significant ways.
This year’s celebrations will recognize the value that older adults continue to bring to our communities 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 as well as arts and recreational groups.
Lifelong participation in social, creative, and physical activities has proven health benefits, including retaining mobility, muscle mass, and cognitive abilities.
But older adults are not the only ones who benefit from their engagement in community life. Studies show 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 Bonney Lake Senior Center provides services, support, and resources to older Americans 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!
To find out how you can support Older Americans Month 2012 and take part in intergenerational play, contact the Bonney Lake Senior Center.
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging by visiting www.eldercare.gov or calling 1-800-677-1116 to find ongoing opportunities to celebrate and support older Americans.