A BIG THANK YOU
Thank you! You have made this year's Active Aging Week® an outstanding series of events that touched the hearts of people and inspired them with the message of living fully at any age.
Hundreds of thousands of people in North America chose to strap on their shoes and discover their communities during Active Aging Week 2013, which took place September 22-29. Joining in the celebrations were a state senator; mayors of towns, large and small; fitness celebrities; and Olympic and college athletes. Media outlets covered all the action (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and a raft of newspapers among them). And action there was.
Participating organizations included event sponsors Aegis Therapies and Healthways SilverSneakers® Fitness Program, which hosted activities from walks to cooking classes in locations across the United States. Also taking part were residents and staff at leading senior-living providers such as Chartwell, Kisco, Holiday, Senior Lifestyle, GoldenLiving, Presbyterian Homes, Touchmark, Sunrise, Good Samaritan, Wesley Life, and Atria. Activities included everything from health fairs and educational seminars, to 5k runs and hula-dancing demonstrations. In Tennessee, The Village at Germantown put on synchronized-swimming demonstrations. The Institute for Preventive Foot Health, another sponsor, provided information to help consumers keep their feet healthy and understand their specific walking styles. And for the first time, the National Council on Aging, also a sponsor, hosted its Falls Free® Initiative across the country in conjunction with ICAA's annual health-promotion campaign.
Also involved were cities, parks and recreation departments, fitness centers, YMCAs, seniors centers, hospital wellness centers, as well as stores, markets, libraries and the like-all providing opportunities for adults over 50 to discover their communities. Some partnered with drugstore chains Rite Aid and Walgreens, plus a multitude of others, to provide information, services and products to enhance events.
You guessed it: Active Aging Week was a tremendous success. In the 10 years since its launch, the campaign has showcased the depth and potential of older adults, encouraging countless numbers to become healthier, more active and engage fully in life. Active Aging Week took root and continues to grow every year because of you-professionals, organizations and sponsors. You and your dedication to making a difference in the lives of people, young and old. Yet again you have demonstrated that we can change the way society ages. Congratulations on your success.
For the Land-of-Sky Regional Council's Area Agency on Aging, 2013 marked seven years of Active Aging Week participation. Rebecca Chaplain, aging program specialist, works with a planning committee and numerous organizations in four North Carolina counties to coordinate the week's development. "Each year we build relationships and work towards strengthening and evolving the week, and that sense of continuity and community is what helps keep the group together," Chaplain says. The region's work has paid off. "Last year, we had more than 1,000 participants-the largest turnout to date," she told writer Marilynn Larkin just prior to this year's event. "Our goals always are to keep the program fresh with new events and activities, to spread the word, and to increase participation."
Ultimately, people are what Active Aging Week is all about. In 2013, the week was a time for people to discover their communities, and for our community to be discovered. This year's campaign united different communities, businesses, sectors and generations to celebrate the spirit of active aging-and each other.
Colin Milner, CEO
International Council on Active Aging®
PS. A big thank you to our sponsor THORLO for their ongoing support and their vision for changing the way we age.
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