CLEARFIELD – I don’t want to sit in a rocking chair all by myself for the rest of my life. I want to go places, see new things, and do new things. I want to stay healthy and vibrant. How do I do that?
If you are a Baby Boomer, this is one of the questions that have been crowding your mind for a long time. You want to keep active, age well, and enjoy life to fullest. You want active aging, and by active aging, we mean “being engaged in life”.
In order to accomplish this, Colin Milner, wellness author, authority, and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, tells us that we need to take a self-educated, proactive, and personally-responsible approach to our wellness. This whole-person wellness or active aging is founded on six dimensions of wellness – physical, intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, and vocational. These dimensions cannot be categorized as separate entities. Often one single activity will cover more than one dimension.
In a series of articles over the next couple of weeks, each of these dimensions will be presented with ideas of how to gain skills in each of them. Below is information on the first two dimensions.
But, reading about these dimensions isn’t enough. You’ve got to experience it. So, Baby Boomers, don’t miss out on experiencing activities from each of these dimensions. Instead, make it a point to get to the Boomer Fest on June 19 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in downtown Clearfield. Officially called Boomer Fest – A Life Options Event, this event will provide you with a sampling of life-enriching activities and will introduce you to all the good things that downtown Clearfield has to offer.
According to the Journal of Active Aging, Baby Boomers have an unbridled optimism about life. Fifty percent of them plan to live beyond 80 years of age. Because of this, they need to learn how to age well and how to maintain an active lifestyle in their later years. According to the Census, there are about 100 million North Americans that are 50 years of age and older. But, not all of them are aging well.
At the core of wellness and active aging is a person’s physical wellness. According to the 2007 National Blueprint Initiative Panel, this dimension reflects a combination of physical health and general well-being that is associated with regular physical activity, healthy nutrition, and other positive lifestyle behaviors. We have all been hearing about how exercise offers benefits not only to the healthy individual but to those with a wide range of health conditions and problems from cancer to various types of other diseases.
Not only does exercise preserve an individual’s function and independence but it also has been found to reduce the decline in one’s cognitive ability. It keeps the brain fit and reduces the risk of stroke, dementia, and intellectual decline.
At the Boomer Fest, individuals can learn about ballroom dancing, sample a Silver Sneakers exercise class, enjoy a free open swim, learn how to stay healthy, check out some outdoor activities including geocaching and fly casting, plus many more activities that assist with the physical dimension.
The intellectual (cognitive) dimension focuses on engaging in creative pursuits and intellectually stimulating activities, problem solving, and reasoning. At the Boomer Fest, individuals will learn how to get started with your genealogy search and how to take genealogy to the 21st century, storytelling for grandparents, when to retire and how to do it, trust and estate planning, Medicare basics, what durable/medial powers of attorney are, as well as other sessions in the intellectual dimension.
Each person who attends Boomer Fest will need to register when they first arrive at one of the following locations: Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc., 103 N. Front St.; Clearfield Arts Studio Theatre (CAST), 112, E. Locust St.; Clearfield County Historical Museum, 104 E. Pine Street; Clearfield YMCA, 21 N. Second Street; Joseph and Elizabeth Shaw Public Library, 1 S. Front St.; and Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority, 12 N. Front St. By attending at least two sessions, registered individuals will be eligible for a special door prize.
Boomer Fest is a partnership of the above organizations with participation from many organizations, businesses, clubs, and individuals in Clearfield County. It is the first of its kind event to introduce Boomers and others to this wonderful hub of activity in the downtown Clearfield area. Information? Definitely. Choice? Without question. Experience what you might be missing. Tie-died shirts and bell-bottoms are optional.
For more information, call the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging at 765-2696 or 1-800-225-8571.
Programs and services of the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc. are funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc., Mature Resources Foundation and local and client contributions.