Giving to the next generation


Working to improve your mental and physical health can help you feel younger than your real age.

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.

 Everyone has something to share, and these ideas from the Administration of Community Living can help you get 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.

These ideas and many others can help amplify the voices of older Americans and raise awareness of vital aging issues in communities across the nation. Find more ideas at oam.ACL.gov. (Family Features)

 

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