Letter: Unleash the power of age
Every year since 1963, May has been a month to appreciate and celebrate the vitality and aspirations of older adults and their contributions to our communities. The theme for Older Americans Month 2013, "Unleash the Power of Age," has never been more fitting. Older Americans are productive, active and influential members of society, sharing essential talents, wisdom and life experience with people in their communities.
Bay Aging has over 800 fabulous, dedicated people 55 and older who lend their time to our organization. These folks deliver nutritious meals to the homebound frail and seniors, carry people to medical appointments and clinics for treatments, provide friendly visits and light assistance in retirement and senior communities, provide support activities in senior centers and adult day care centers, help seniors and low-income families file taxes and more. Last year, seniors donated 54,194 hours of service through Bay Aging, a $1,180,886 value to the localities of the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck!
The 55-and-older set—a wonderful resource—share their time and talents in many other different ways through volunteering at museums, beautification, fire and rescue, schools, hospitals and clinics, convalescent and skilled nursing facilities, shelters, pet therapy, parks and recreation, library, churches, youth groups, community and civic organizations and more. They also work with law enforcement agencies through TRIAD to help make your community safer.
The older adult population is exploding throughout the nation. The U.S. Census estimates by the year 2020, the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck will have over 45,000 people 60 years and older. By the year 2030, that number will rise to 50,103 or about a third of the total population in the region will be us fabulous seniors!
This year, let’s think about what more communities can do to help Unleash the Power of Aging. Giving our elders opportunities to share their time to support those who are less fortunate, to teach others the skills they’ve honed over the years or to become involved in civic matters are just a few of the ways.
Let’s help our older citizens stay positive, healthy, active, looking forward and Unleash the Power of Age!
Jean M. Duggan