Oldie Goldies: Honoring Elders’ Contributions to Community
May spotlights Older Americans Month and the important role they play in sharing their experience, wisdom and understanding, and passing it all on to younger generations in meaningful ways. Youth that have significant relationships with a grandparent or another elder, for example, report that these relationships helped shape their values, goals and life choices, and gave them a sense of identity and roots.
Many communities have increased their efforts to provide opportunities for older adults, many that remain physically and socially active through their 80s and beyond. Trends show that people over age 60 account for a growing percentage of participants in community service positions, faith-based organizations, online social networking groups, and arts and recreational activities.
Lifelong participation in social, creative and physical activities has proven health benefits, including retention of mobility, increased muscle mass and improved cognitive abilities. The interactions of seniors with family, friends and neighbors across generations work to enrich the lives of all.