Older adults are a growing and vital part of the country. The contributions they make to communities vary, but all play an influential role in the nation’s economy, politics and the arts. Older adults can flourish and make their mark, even if it’s later in life. Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t publish her first book until she was 64. Benjamin Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence at age 70. Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa when he was just shy of 76 years old. Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work at age 69. These famous older adults proved that it’s never too late to blaze a trail.
In 1963 the United States began to acknowledge the contributions of older people by using the month of May to celebrate Older Americans Month (OAM). Led by the Administration for Community Living, the annual observance offers the opportunity to learn about, support and celebrate the nation’s older citizens. This year’s theme, “Blaze a Trail,” emphasizes the ways older adults are reinventing themselves through new work and new passions, engaging their communities, and blazing a trail of positive impact on the lives of people of all ages.
Local senior centers provide a variety of services to older adults year-round. North Carolina senior centers will use OAM 2016 to focus on how older adults in the local community are leading and inspiring others to follow their examples to blaze trails of their own. The North Carolina Senior Center Alliance (NCSCA) recognizes the accomplishments of older adults in communities across the state. NCSCA encourages adults to get involved by participating in senior center activities and special events, volunteering or simply sharing a story of how you are “blazing a trail” in your community.
For more information on the North Carolina Senior Center Alliance visit www.ncaoa.org or contact Alliance Chair, Thessia Everhart-Roberts at 336.242.2290 or Thessia.Everhart@DavidsonCountyNC.Gov