Last fall, when we asked all Pennsylvania county Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) to tell us why they might want to participate in our “Expanding Area Agency on Aging Resources through Community Collaborations" program, the Bucks County AAA responded with one of the best proposals.
Hence, we’re now involved in a multi-dimensional project, funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging through the Long Term Life Training Institute, that includes efforts in Bucks to:
Thanks to funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging through the Long Term Life Training Institute and the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging, we’re pleased to offer four Bucks County presentations of the Coming of Age workshop series, Explore Your Future in March, April, and May in Bristol Township, Bristol Borough, Bensalem and Morrisville.
This workshop series gives participants a unique opportunity to consider "what's next" in their lives. It is a hands-on learning experience that focuses on helping adults 50+ create a vision for making their future satisfying and rewarding. Want the details? They’re just a click away.
By Aviva Perlo
It seems like you hear the word “intergenerational” everywhere these days. As well it should be. Integrating various generations can prove fruitful for many reasons. But what is at the core of connecting older and younger?
Many older people have wisdom, life experience. They have been knocked down and gotten up again. They know what it means to rebuild a family when things fall apart. And they may know more about how to ask for help, where to go, who to trust.
These are some of the many reasons why I turn towards older people for friendship and support. I lost a parent while in college, and I quickly realized that my peers were focused on beer and boys. I turned to some older family friends who had already lost a loved one and found comfort in their presence. They were not immobilized and knew things would ease over time.
One of the key concepts from The Coming of Age “Capturing the Energy and Expertise of People Age 50+” Learning Lab (See “Our Learning Lab Was Once Again A Big Hit!” below) is promoting engaging pro bono consultants. They go by many other names-- leadership, technical assistance, or skill-based volunteers. Awbury Arboretum has developed a number of such roles: They want to engage older adults to develop business plans, provide management, develop and implement marketing plans, and offer advice on insurance. They also are looking for volunteer teachers and office workers.
For more information about these capacity-building and other roles, please email info@ComingofAge.org.
Philadelphia Encore Men (those between middle and true old age) don’t seem to have gotten the memo about not sharing feelings and concerns. We now have two groups who meet monthly to discuss thoughts and feelings about work, relationships, planning for the future, etc.
As the groups have bonded, they’ve begun to explore other profound topics: spirituality, facing mortality, and that ultimate challenge—dealing with adult children! The groups have even made contact with counterparts in Florida and California (Maybe that memo’s MIA?!).
“Why is everything you do in Center City?” we often hear. Well, we do present programming throughout the region, but most activities are in Philadelphia. So, this winter we’re taking our “Explore Your Future” program on the road. To Bristol!
The workshop series will be offered from 10 AM to 3 PM on March 3 & 10 at the Bristol Borough Area Active Adult Center, Wood & Mulberry Sts. For more info, call (215) 788-9238. It also will be offered 10 AM to 3 PM on March 4 & 11 at the Bristol Township Senior Center, 2501 Bath Rd. For more info email email@example.com or call (215) 785-6322.
Coming of Age National Director Dick Goldberg will deliver a keynote address, “Old is Good-- A Paean to Aging,” at this month’s Seventh Annual International Conference on Positive Aging in Sarasota, Florida. As part of the run-up to the conference, The Sarasota Herald Tribune asked him to write a guest column.
“Our potential for connection and contribution, for enriching our world with our energy, expertise and experience is one more reason that the ‘new old’ is good-- for people 50+ and everyone else,” Goldberg wrote in the piece.
Yet one more benefit for a sunny outlook—it’s likely to help with mobility. Sour pusses beware: you’re also likely to die before your more ebullient peers.
A new study doesn’t prove that happiness preserves mobility. "The research suggests that enjoyment of life contributes to healthier and more active old age," said study author Andrew Steptoe, Director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care at University College London.
"We have previously shown that positive well-being and enjoyment of life are predictors of longer life," Steptoe said. "Older people who report greater enjoyment are less likely to die over the next five to eight years than those with lower enjoyment of life."
Rock on! (But not in a chair.)