AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– We are celebrating Oder Americans Month and this is not just a title, this is a thing! Elder Rights Coordinator Kathy Jones joins us from the Regional Commission CSRA Area Agency on Aging and she says there’s a recognition from Mayor Garnett Johnson, in fact.
Kathy: We do, we have a proclamation, this month will be recognized as Aging Unbounded. So the idea is to think beyond what we normally would associate with aging and maybe try things that are different. Diversity, we want to be sure that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy what they consider aging to be and to have insight, maybe crossing generations so that the seniors are perhaps playing with toddlers and such so that it’s touching everyone.
Jennie: You know what I see that I love so much, I see my 90 year old mother and her 20 year old grandchildren face-timing.
Kathy: There you go.
Jennie: When she face-times the grandchildren and they face-time her, something about hearing aids that she’s wearing, it’s better if she just does the face-time on her i-Pad than trying to do a phone call. They can have interests in common and I love that, how easy it is to have those connections because that intergenerational aspect is so important, especially in making an older person still feel in touch and still feel relevant.
Kathy: Exactly. She is able to share all of her stories from a different angle and they are hearing it from a different perspective. You know, we encourage folks to be sure that they’re sharing their wealth of knowledge. The purpose of having those story times, whether it’s through media or, you know, literally just reading to someone, is to make sure that we’re all sharing the facts, the things that were so important to us growing up so that the next generation can learn from that.
Jennie: What are some of the things that you see, in particular, that are happening in honor of Older Americans Month?
Kathy: A lot of the suggestions are to talk to the school groups, to go and visit, take on new interests. If you’ve wanted to see plays and things, we’ve got great new theaters that have opened up to enjoy. Take care of going to the recitals, even if it’s not your child or grandchild, perhaps it’s a friend’s that you can then enjoy this time of year, especially.
Kathy: So we encourage everyone to determine what it is that they would like to try. Maybe it’s something they’ve never had an interest in before that they didn’t do- or it’s just the opposite where they’ve done that their entire work life and now maybe they’re thinking, you know, I really enjoyed this, this is what I wanna stick to. So just to explore, be active, not sedentary, but try to find a way to keep themselves and their minds fully active throughout that time.
Jennie: One thing that I see that I think is terrific is when seniors can maybe audit a course at a college- that lifelong learning that they can take advantage of.
Kathy: That’s exactly right. There’s so much interaction there, again, with young people as well as those that are coming for the same reasons, seniors, you know, just such a cross-section of activity there for them to enjoy. Some of the activity, of course, is at churches and different events like that, but then some people are traveling, you know, worldwide at that age. So we just want to absolutely embrace every opportunity you can like that.
You can find out more about Aging Unbound and Older Americans month here.