Senior Living: Engage at every age
By Rhonda Kay Leonard
President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May as Older American’s month in 1963. This month we celebrate the contributions older Americans make to Beaverton and surrounding communities. According the US Census Bureau, 12.7% of Beaverton’s population was age 65 or older in 2016, up from 10.7% in 2010. People in this age bracket make a huge contribution to the community! This year’s theme for the national event is “Engage at Every Age”.
When I think of engaging at every age, I think of people living life to the fullest all the way through the lifespan. Some people volunteer their time to a local school, faith community or nonprofit organization. Older Americans who no longer need a paycheck are well positioned to invest their time and talent to advance causes they feel passionate about. Shirley Dechaine, a local 75-year-old retired teacher, uses her time and talent to teach Sunday school for developmentally disabled adults.
Some people engage by picking up a hobby or activity that brings joy. I recently had the pleasure of meeting a smiling 84-year old baton twirler with the marching band, The Beat Goes On after a performance. She told me, “I hadn’t touched a baton since high-school. Then, at age 70, I just picked it up again. That was 14 years ago!” Steve Talapka, the band director, shared “One of the best things about this group is that it offers an opportunity for people to participate quite literally at every age. We have older and younger adults working and playing together.”
Older Americans make their communities rich with life experience, shared purpose and joy.
Beaverton, how do you engage?
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