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Oscar’s track: You’re never too old to play

Community Columnist

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” — Plato.

Older Americans Month is celebrated each May to honor and recognize older Americans for the contributions they make to our families, communities and society.

Each year, the Administration on Aging (AOA) issues a theme for Older Americans Month. This year’s theme for Older Americans Month 2012, “Never Too Old to Play!” encourages older Americans to stay engaged, active and involved in their own lives and in their communities.

The AOA is the Federal agency responsible for advancing the concerns and interests of older people and their caregivers.

AOA works with and through the Aging Services Network to promote the development of a comprehensive and coordinated system of home and community-based, long-term care that is responsive to the needs and preferences of older people and their family caregivers. AOA is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Since 1963, communities across the nation have joined in the annual commemoration of Older Americans Month, a proud tradition that shows our nation’s commitment to celebrating the contributions and achievements of older Americans.

This year’s theme puts a spotlight on the important role older adults play in sharing their experience, wisdom and understanding and passing on that knowledge to other generations in a variety of significant ways.

This month’s celebrations recognize the value that older adults continue to bring to our communities through spirited participation in social and faith groups, service organizations and other activities.

As large numbers of baby-boomers reach retirement age, many communities have increased their efforts to provide meaningful opportunities for older adults — many of whom remain physically and socially active through their 80s and beyond.

Current trends show that people over age 60 account for an ever-growing percentage of participants in community service positions, faith-based organizations, online social networking as well as arts and recreational groups.

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