The City of Monroe's Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center is celebrating Older Americans Month (OAM) during the month of May.
OAM was established in 1963 after an April meeting between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens.
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) describes OAM as a time for us all to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of older Americans, highlight important trends and strengthen our commitment to honoring our older citizens.
This year’s theme, Aging Unbound, offers an opportunity to explore a wide range of aging experiences and to promote the importance of enjoying independence and fulfillment by paving our own paths as we age.
We sat down with a few of our Senior Center participants who shared what the phrase Aging Unbound means to them:
“Age does not restrict you. You can enjoy life. You pick and choose what you want to do. Nothing binds you, you’re free,” said Judy Grider.
“You’re as young as you feel. I intend to stay as young as I feel and this does help being a member of the Senior Center,” said Robert Gray.
“No matter your age you can still have fun, you can achieve what you want to do, and there’s always something you can learn. Keep learning! There’s no limitation,” said Lystra Gray.
“I think it means to take care of yourself when you’re young, exercise, eat right, don’t smoke, and keep your mind active. Associate with other people because otherwise if you don’t you’ll just be so lonely and it just won’t work for you,” said Annetta Robinson.
Here are some ways we can all participate in Aging Unbound:
- Embrace the opportunity to change. Find a new passion, go on an adventure, and push boundaries by not letting age define your limits. Invite creativity and purpose into your life by trying new activities in your community to bring in more growth, joy, and energy.
- Explore the rewards of growing older. With age comes knowledge, which provides insight and confidence to understand and experience the world more deeply. Continue to grow that knowledge through reading, listening, classes, and creative activities.
- Stay engaged in your community. Everyone benefits when everyone is connected and involved. Stay active by volunteering, working, mentoring, participating in social clubs, and taking part in activities at your local senior center or elsewhere in the community.
- Form relationships. As an essential ingredient of well-being, relationships can enhance your quality of life by introducing new ideas and unique perspectives. Invest time with people to discover deeper connections with family, friends, and community members.
The Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center enhances the quality of life for older adults by providing access to a variety of activities, programs, and resources that promote healthy living, independence, and involvement in the community.
Services will soon move to the Philip E. Bazemore Active Adult Center located in the former Enquirer Journal building on W. Jefferson Street. The 21,440 sq. ft. facility will have activity rooms, a computer lab, fitness/cardio rooms, a woodworking area, ceramics and pottery room, plus a large rentable event space with a catering kitchen. Stay tuned for the grand opening announcement.