by KaDee Holt, Outreach Coordinator, Athens Community Council on Aging
After several failed attempts at getting in touch with my parents, I left a voicemail asking them to give me a call back before 10 p.m. I knew they were not in any danger because they were returning my phone calls, but it was after I, their youngest of five, 30-something year old children, had already gone to bed. When I finally got in touch with them, the response was “we are just really busy and why are you going to bed so early?”
Here I was trying to justify my “early” sleeping schedule to my retired parents who were keeping long hours. My, my, how the tables had turned within the last couple of years. My parents, like many of their friends and age group, are more active now than they have ever been and this is a common trend among their generation, the Baby Boomers.
January 1, 2011, marked the first day that the oldest of the Baby Boomer generation would reach the age of 65. Baby Boomers, the generation of babies born during the boom after World War II, grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. They have continued to make a ‘boom’ and are now making that impact on the retired community. As evidence by the example above, this newly retired age group is on the MOVE. They are engaging themselves in new experiences and activities and enjoying an active lifestyle that they have spent their lives working towards.
The Athens Community Council on Aging, like many resource agencies across the nation, are tuning into the busy and active lives of the Baby Boomer generation. They are listening to this generation that is on the MOVE, changing their lineup of programs to fit their MOVING needs. The Athens Community Council on Aging or ACCA has been offering many classes to keep older adults moving, including Zumba, dancing, and Tai Chi. This winter, they will expand their offerings with walking classes and new aerobics classes.
In addition, ACCA is planning several trips including holiday shopping and antiquing as well as a cruise that is in the works for next spring. To promote this shift in older adults’ interest, ACCA is in the process of launching a whole new brand for its senior center to comply with the demand of this fast-growing population
The Center for Active Living will launch in early November. The name change is to better describe this shift in older adults’ interest and the services provided locally by the ACCA to keep this generation of older adults active and on the MOVE. Older adults in Athens can also become involved with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and take educational classes through their programming at the University of Georgia.
Staying on the MOVE is important to our health as we grow older, and having local agencies and UGA provide opportunities for older adults makes Athens and the surrounding areas a great place for older adults to stay on the MOVE. I know from experience that the Baby Boomer generation isn’t slowing down. If anything, they are speeding up and we are going to have to keep up with them.