Making the Golden Years Shine

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Mary Anne Zak

Do we take for granted that Suffield offers low-cost housing for the aging and handicapped? If we do, we may find it hard to believe that a half-century ago a proposal for low cost housing for the elderly was dismissed. Because it had not been heard of, it was considered out of bounds.

But, since 1950, when the National Council on Aging was founded, its many projects have benefitted citizens at the age of 60+, widely regarded as the Golden Years. Other organizations consider 55+or 65+ worthy age groups.

In Suffield, the National Council on Aging is the source of AMP, the Aging Mastery Program. Sponsored by the Kent Memorial Library and the Suffield Senior Center, AMP will offer ten weeks of evidenced-based sessions.

The sessions will inform, encourage and support older adults to improve their lives and engage with their communities, showing ways to do so.

Beginning on Monday, March 4 at the Senior Center, the free program includes a light lunch. Space is limited. Interested persons should sign up at the Senior Center 860 668- 8830.

This writer can vouch for trying new ventures at advanced age. Never one for exercising beyond a leisurely stroll, I’ve felt a greater sense of mobility and well-being since committing to daily chair exercises. Swing-dancing with my walker or my cane has been fun and beneficial, too.

Soon to extinguish 90 candles on a birthday cake, I’ve been asked if I’d like to do an encore, those generous years. The answer’s been negative. But I would appreciate returning to make amends and apologies where aging has shown me they are due.

One of aging’s gifts grants us insights about situations we were unable to see when we were younger. It gives us patience and endurance to ponder our insights and to see what we can learn from them.

Speaking of learning, those of us who were TV- deprived at young ages can make up for lost time now. The University of Public Television is rich with marvelously photographed and documented programs that entertain and educate us.

Still of mighty value is Sesame Street! Priceless as it was for our children and grandchildren, it is an outstanding source of learning and insight for any age. Marvelously creative, Sesame Street still takes viewers of all ages on magic carpet rides.

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