Age-Friendly Discussion Groups
New age 50+ discussion groups forming – start one today!
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.