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AARP Montana joins Network of Aging Groups to Celebrate May as Older Americans Month

AARP Montana is joining a network of aging groups in Butte to celebrate Older Americans Month. This year’s theme -- Never Too Old to Play -- puts a spotlight on the important role older adults play in sharing their experience, wisdom, and understanding, and passing on that knowledge to other generations in a variety of significant ways.

See also: AARP Experience Corps

As part of the month-long celebration, the Butte Aging Network will sponsor “Never Too Old to Play” Day at Butte Plaza Mall on Thursday, May 17 from 10 am – 2 pm with registration starting a 9 am. Professionals from healthcare and aging organizations will present on a variety of topics including brain health, nutrition and diabetes education. Entertainment will include bingo, “era music” and performances by the Silver Bow Stompers and Fine Line Dancers. In addition, the day will feature fun interactive exhibits including a hoop shoot, a putting green, karate and fly fishing demonstrations. A resource fair featuring exhibitors ranging from nonprofits to government agencies will be open during the event.

Part of the day’s festivities includes a “fun walk” with both a one-mile and a three-mile course. Early registration for the fun walk is available at the Marquis Butte Assisted Living center located at 300 Mt. Highland Drive.

The aim of this year’s celebrations is to recognize the value that older adults continue to bring to their communities through spirited participation in social and faith groups, service organizations, and other activities.

As large numbers of baby-boomers reach retirement age, many communities have increased their efforts to provide meaningful opportunities for older adults – many of whom remain physically and socially active through their 80s and beyond. Current trends show that people over age 60 account for an ever-growing percentage of participants in community service positions, faith-based organizations, online social networking as well as arts and recreational groups.

Lifelong participation in social, creative, and physical activities has proven health benefits, including retaining mobility, muscle mass, and cognitive abilities. But older adults are not the only ones who benefit from their engagement in community life. Studies show their interactions with family, friends, and neighbors across generations enrich the lives of everyone involved. Young people who have significant relationships with a grandparent or elder report that these relationships helped shape their values, goals, and life choices and gave them a sense of identity and roots.

For more information on “Never Too Old to Play” Day at the Butte Plaza mall, contact the Retired and Volunteer Senior Program in Butte at 406-533-2508.

About Older American Month

Since 1963, communities across the nation have joined in the annual commemoration of Older Americans Month—a proud tradition that shows our nation’s commitment to celebrating the contributions and achievements of older Americans. To find out how you can support Older Americans Month 2012 and take part in intergenerational play, contact your local Area Agency on Aging online or call 800- 677-1116 to find ongoing opportunities to celebrate and support older Americans.