Age-Friendly Discussion Groups

New age 50+ discussion groups forming – start one today!
March 31, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
New age-friendly discussion groups are forming - start one today!
New age-friendly discussion groups are forming - start one today!

Would you like to gather with others to discuss topics of interest to the 50+ crowd? Look for this new feature in every issue of Northwest Prime Time, brought to you by AARP Washington (www.aarp.org/wa), King County Library System (kcls.org), and the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle and King County (agingkingcounty.org).

Each month we will feature an article about a “hot topic” of interest to older adults, along with suggested discussion points. The articles will also include resources and support for the topic at hand.

This project is modeled after book discussion groups; we envision your get-togethers to be sociable, informative and fun. Perhaps you’re already part of a group or maybe you’d like to form a new one. Meetings can take place at libraries, senior centers, retirement communities, social clubs, places of worship, group member homes, your favorite local coffee shop or anywhere people may want to congregate on a regular basis.

“AARP hopes these conversations will build on our sense of community by bringing people together to connect, share life experiences and speak about issues we all care about,” says AARP Washington Outreach Director Amanda Frame. “Our goal with this project is to enrich the conversation and start a public dialogue about the future of aging across generations.”

Wendy Pender, King County Library System’s Older Adults Program Coordinator, says, “KCLS’ Mission is to ‘inspire people to succeed through ideas, interaction and information’ and our Strategic Focus is ‘to create opportunities through meaningful connections.’ These discussion groups provide a container for those rich connections, the opportunity to sit down with our neighbors and have conversations about things that matter to us all. Each month we’ll highlight programs and services on the topic of the month available throughout KCLS libraries for FREE.”

Upcoming discussion topics will be announced in the May issue of Northwest Prime Time. The first topic will explore the latest thinking on housing for older adults, along with a discussion of rising property taxes—and potential relief from the taxes.

We want your feedback!

We encourage groups to provide input on this ongoing project:

  • Snap a photo of your group and post it or any comments/questions on AARP Washington’s Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/AARPWA/groups ; or
  • email your comments and questions to editor@northwestprimetime.com; or
  • call Northwest Prime Time at 206-824-8600; or
  • send us a note at Northwest Prime Time, PO Box 13647, Seattle WA 98198.

PRIZES!

  • Each group that contacts Northwest Prime Time by email, phone or U.S. mail will be entered to win a $100 gift card to Starbucks so you can splurge on coffee and treats for your next discussion group meeting.
  • Your group will also be entered to win the grand prize (to be announced) at the end of the year. Each time your group contacts us, it will be entered to win the grand prize (no cost to participate). Limit: one entry per month per group

Please read related article below...

What's in a Name?

Age Friendly Best Practices

Back in the early 1970s, senior power took root.


This new age-friendly discussion group project is modeled after book discussion groups; we envision your get-togethers to be sociable, informative and fun

Older adults across the nation proudly wore buttons declaring themselves a “Senior Citizen” to demand respect and proclaim to the world that they were still relevant.

New programs and services for “senior citizens” were springing up across the country, spurred by the Older Americans Act of 1965. In 1971, Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman created a Division on Aging (now the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle and King County), one of the first cities in the country to do so. He urged local older adults to flex their political muscles and show “a united front of senior power.”

There have been many changes since the 1970s’ senior power movement. People are living longer; the numbers of older adults are rising rapidly. This brings challenges and opportunities.

Enter a new revolution: AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Communities. AARP is organizing towns, cities and counties across the nation to become great places for everyone to live easily, equitably and comfortably as they age. Age-Friendly Communities have walkable streets, housing and transportation options, access to key services and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities. A growing number of Puget Sound area towns and cities are part of the Age-Friendly movement, which means they are actively working to improve their “age-friendliness.”

Through the program, AARP works with local officials and partner organizations to focus on building communities that meet the needs of people of all ages. AARP also encourages individuals to take a more active role in their communities and have their voices heard.

Northwest Prime Time is proud to present Age-Friendly Discussion Groups, sponsored by AARP Washington, King County Library System, and the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle and King County. The series will launch in May in conjunction with Older Americans Month and will explore different aspects of Age-Friendly Communities. You can expect some “hot topics” of interest to people over age 50.

While the project doesn’t officially start until next month, your current or newly formed group, no matter how small, can get a head-start!

Let’s get the ball rolling with a simple survey. But first consider this:

The “Senior Citizen” moniker, now shortened to “senior,” was a big step up from the term “elderly” (no one likes that one). But now that members of the ever-youthful baby boomer generation are in the “senior” category, they don’t necessarily embrace the term (to say nothing of Gen Xers, the oldest of which are well into their 50s). While “Elderly” is out, “Elder” is in. And “Older Adult” is an oft-used phrase.

What do you think is the best term when talking about people over age 50? Perhaps the term differs depending on how far over 50 one is—and your answer may in part reflect your own age.

If you have a group, consider kick-starting our Age-Friendly Discussion Groups project by voting on your favorite term for people over age 50. Please include the number of people in your group and their ages. If there isn’t a group consensus on your favorite term, list more than one. Your group will be entered to win a $100 Starbucks gift card.

Some of these options may be a bit fanciful, but let your imagination run wild. If you had to choose just one, what term do you want to be called:

  • Elder
  • Senior
  • Older Adult
  • Mature Adult
  • Golden Ager
  • Oldnik (harkens back to the beatnik days)
  • Oldster (ties in with today’s Millennial hipsters…“Hey, I may be older but I’m still with it.”)
  • Oldie (an affectionate term coined by some great-grandkids for a local couple in their 90s)
  • 50+ (or 65+, etc.)
  • None of the above (Can you suggest an alternative?)

Send your answers by April 15 to editor@northwestprimetime.com or to Editor: Northwest Prime Time, PO Box 13647, Seattle, WA 98198. We would also love to see a photo of your group, but that is not necessary to participate.

Northwest Prime Time will summarize the responses for the May issue, and one lucky group will be drawn at random to win a $100 Starbucks gift card (one response only per group, please – no cost to participate).

NEXT MONTH look for a list of upcoming discussion topics, an article about new ideas for senior housing including an update on property taxes, suggestions for discussion points, and information on resources and support. The feature will also include tips and ideas for starting and running a discussion group.

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