The 2018 theme for Older Americans Month is Engage at Every Age. This theme emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental and emotional well-being. This theme also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in their communities.
Older adults are redefining aging through a variety of activities. Some begin new careers, take classes, develop new hobbies, and volunteer. Participating in activities that promote mental and physical wellness, can improve your mood and lower your chances of injury. Some examples of activities include:
- Gentle yoga
- Ballroom dancing lessons
- Book clubs
- Learn a new hobby such as photography
- Grow an herb garden
- Classes at your local YMCA or senior center
- Start or join a walking group
Walking is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to get moving. You can get fit, have fun and make friends while you walk. It is important to note that you should check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Volunteering is another excellent opportunity; people are making a difference, for themselves and in others’ lives. Volunteering connects you with the community, promotes social activities and helps prevent isolation. With many charities and non-profits in need of help, there is no shortage of volunteer opportunities for those willing to donate their time and efforts. Research shows a positive link between volunteering and improved brain health.
Consider using your years of experience by helping others. Your local senior center is a perfect place to start. Volunteers can meet a range of community needs, from mentoring to providing job training, to helping families recover from disasters. If you are familiar with technology – help a senior, or anyone who’s new to technology, get up to speed. Volunteer: help enrich lives, open new doors and possibly learn something new for yourself.
OCES’ Volunteer page, https://www.ocesma.org/volunteer/, provides more information on volunteering and includes links to volunteer opportunities.
Healthy diet, exercise and social activities can help control or delay age-related health problems. Lifestyle choices you make today can lead to a healthier tomorrow. The following links provide more information.