By John R. Ratliff, Boomerang Staff Writer
There are more than 2.3 million Ohioans age 60 or older and two million baby boomers living in our state today. Imagine the potential when these Golden Buckeyes choose to be inspired by their age, rather than defined by it. When we choose to be respected and vital members of society and take advantage of opportunities to grow, thrive and contribute, we unleash our power for the benefit of our families, friends, communities and, ultimately, the nation.
Bonnie K. Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging, is often asked what Ohio is doing to address the "aging problem." Her response is profound in its simplicity: "Ohio doesn't have an aging problem; we have more than two million aging successes. Our challenge is to make sure there are opportunities for them to unleash their power."
And, Golden Buckeyes are taking advantage of opportunities to make healthy decisions, share their knowledge and experiences, mentor others, expand their minds and plan for a happy and productive future.
Here are some examples of how some of your neighbors unleash their power:
Ellen Duell of Yellow Springs proclaims, "I am a Golden Buckeye because I'm 84 and contented with my life. Our senior center has many opportunities for learning, giving and enjoyment, as well as a home assistance program. I write letters to newspaper editors about issues of justice. I sing, keep in touch with my (distant) family members and manage to take care of myself!"
Melida Bockrath, 72, of Ottawa says, "I am a Golden Buckeye and I unleash my power by doing two things: One - I wrote a book of which all the proceeds will go to the Ottawa Public Library to help kids who are struggling with reading. Two - If I do not approve of what public officials are doing when they spend my tax dollars, I write them or pay them a visit. If they do not answer, I simply write a letter to the editor."
Ruth Furiate of Findlay, writes, "I am a Golden Buckeye and I unleash my power by never allowing defeat! In spite of health problems, I am a master gardener; I enter contests, go to concerts and volunteer. I am a knitter, baker, picture taker and poet. I own Cametata piano studio, teach yard art, gardening and serve my church, party with my family and trust and serve my God and my Savior, who gives me strength. In short, I love life; and that unleashes my power to be a Golden Buckeye."
By striving for the highest quality of life, Golden Buckeyes help Ohio stay on the leading edge of innovation and be responsive to our growing and changing aging population. Golden Buckeyes leverage their power as consumers and expect excellence. Here are some ideas to help you unleash your power:
- Healthy Lifestyles: Golden Buckeyes can maximize their quality of life and independence by taking preventive measures and maintaining their healthy lifestyle.
- Education: Continuing education can improve Golden Buckeyes' physical and mental well-being to give them more to contribute to work and volunteer endeavors.
- Volunteerism: Golden Buckeyes volunteer more than 350,000 hours of their time each year to help others with their unique skills and interests.
- Workforce: More Golden Buckeyes are staying in or returning to the workforce. Many employers are paying attention to this growing pool of qualified, experienced workers.
- Caregiving: Many Golden Buckeyes are caregivers to family members, friends or neighbors who need help to live at home and maintain their independence. Successful caregivers manage their roles by delegating and asking for assistance, while making time to take care of themselves.
- Senior Centers: Ohio's more than 450 senior centers offer opportunities for engagement, entertainment, learning and more for Golden Buckeyes.
Are you a Golden Buckeye?
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