Senior services celebrates

Published 9:26 am Thursday, July 6, 2017

Getting older doesn’t mean what it used to.

For many aging Americans, it is a phase of life where interests, goals, and dreams can get a new or second start. Today, aging is about eliminating outdated perceptions and living the way that suits you best.

Take Barbara Hillary, for example.

A nurse for 55 years who dreamed of travel, at age 75 Hillary became the first African-American woman to set foot on the North Pole. In 2011, at age 79, she set another first when she stepped onto the South Pole.

Former president George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday by skydiving.

Actress Betty White, now 95, became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live in 2010, coincidentally during May—the same month recognized as Older Americans Month.

Since 1963, Older American’s Month has been a time to celebrate older Americans, their stories, and their contributions. Led by the Administration for Community Living, the annual observance offers a special opportunity to learn about, support, and recognize our nation’s older citizens.

This year’s theme, “Age Out Loud,” emphasized the ways older adults are living their lives with boldness, confidence, and passion while serving as an inspiration to people of all ages.

While Davie County Senior Services provides programs and services to older adults year-round, they used Older American’s Month 2017 to focus on how older adults in the community are leading and inspiring others, how the community can support and learn from them, and how people might follow their examples to blaze trails of their own.

Throughout May, Senior Services invited community leaders to see first-hand the impact of older adults on the community, as well as the impact that Davie Senior Services has each day in the lives of older adults.  Leaders were invited to deliver meals, serve lunch, or help with a special event.

“Many responded by giving their time to help those who have given so much to our community,” said Kim Shuskey, senior services director.

There were plenty of opportunities to serve, as Senior Services had multiple events in addition to regular programs. The month kicked off May 1 with a May Day party, where County Commissioner Richard Poindexter officially proclaimed Older American’s Month. He, along with County Manager John Eller  and Social Services Director Tracie Murphy helped to serve refreshments.

May 5 was the day for all senior artists and craftspeople to turn in their work for SilverArts. A total of 22 heritage and visual arts pieces were entered, along with 15 literary pieces. These items were judged by Mindy Ledbetter, Tracy Carter and Kathleen Hurst. After judging, the items were put on display at the library for the remainder of the month.

On May 8, Amy Jones with Novant Health presented information about stroke awareness. Later that day, a craft class was offered, allowing participants to make their own painted wooden signs for their homes.

On May 9 Senior Services hosted the first Memory Café designed for caregivers of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. They, along with the family member they were caring for, enjoyed dinner and a program of fun and therapeutic movement activities coordinated by Kamryn King, music therapy student at Wake Forest University.

That week was wrapped up with the annual Mother/Daughter Social on May 12.  Approximately 180 enjoyed dinner and a fashion show presented by Peebles of Mocksville. Models included some contestants of the 2016 Ms. Senior Davie County Pageant and their family members.

The following week started with a movie on May 15, complete with popcorn, and ended with bingo on May 19, sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care.

On May 23, Sheriff J.D. Hartman was the guest speaker for a Senior Lunch.  Hartman gave information about the sheriff’s office and answered questions from participants. A lunch was served after the program. Mocksville Town Manager Marcus Abernethy and Mocksville Town Board member Brent Ward helped to serve the meal.

Throughout the month, Senior Games was going strong and several community leaders helped at those events, including: Elections Director Tabatha Parrish, Health Director Suzanne Wright and Public Health Education Specialist Brandi Patti. On May 25, the Senior Games closing ceremonies and SilverArts follies was held. Recreation Director, Paul Moore, helped at that event by serving as a judge for the performing arts.

The month wrapped up with a celebration of National Senior Health & Fitness Day on May 31. This event included a demonstration of many of the fitness classes available at Senior Services for those 55 and older.

At the Farmington site, participants celebrated Cinco de Mayo on May 5 and learned some interesting facts about outer space on May 8. Jessica Pollard, health & wellness coordinator for Senior Services, shared tips with the group about how to “Sleep Well” on May 19. The Farmington Community Center sponsored fun games of pantry bingo on May 22. Participants at that site celebrated good health and fitness on May 31.

In addition to the many