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Giving to the Next Generation

May 03, 2017 11:00AM ● Published by Enjoy Magazine

From self-expression to self-direction, there are countless ways to age out loud. Some of the most rewarding ways for older adults involve passing on experiences, wisdom and skills to others.

Designed to highlight vital aging issues, Older Americans Month is led by the Administration on Community Living and celebrated each May. The 2017 theme, Age Out Loud, reflects what aging looks like today and what older adults have to say.

Everyone has something to share, and these ideas can help get you started.

Mentor. Use professional or personal experiences to guide a child, young adult or peer. Example: Visit Senior Corps at nationalservice.gov to learn about becoming a foster grandparent.

Volunteer. Put skills to use while giving back to your community. Example: Sign up to collect food or clothing donations, serve meals at a local soup kitchen or help older adults with daily tasks at home, such as paying bills.

Teach. Impart expertise via formal or informal education and tutoring opportunities. Example: Check with local schools that may need reading, math or science tutors.

Speak. Sign up for speaking engagements, paid or unpaid, as well as storytelling events. Example: Open-mic events, often at theaters and libraries, welcome speakers of all ages.

Engage. Visit a senior center or organize a gathering focused on connecting with others. Example: Book clubs attract participants of all ages and encourage the exchange of ideas.

Write. Pen an article, op-ed or even a book to communicate wisdom and lessons learned. Example: Start with something you know the most about, such as a career, hobby or historical event, and submit a column to your local newspaper.

Create. Pick a medium and use art to express yourself and share your perspective. Example: Paint, draw, sculpt, play music, dance, make crafts – whatever suits you.

From posters and web badges to sample proclamations, resources that can help amplify the voices of older Americans and raise awareness of aging issues can be found at oam.ACL.gov.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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