The state of Ohio’s Department of Aging launched a campaign in May called “Well Beyond 60”, establishing the inaugural month as an Older Americans Month. Their activities however still continue, and for those of you who aren’t aware of this brilliant initiative, allow me to bring it to your attention and take you through the basics.
What is Well Beyond 60?
Well Beyond 60 can be defined as a broad initiative, aiming to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities that the constantly growing aging-population of Ohio brings to the society. A single person, or even a group of dedicated volunteers, can only make a little difference in a society where the “60-plus population is growing more than 20 times faster than our overall population”*. Therefore, Well Beyond 60 is trying to make aging everybody’s business.
How do I make aging my business?
Well, aging already is everyone’s business, really. The difference we can make is getting conscious of that, and getting involved. They offer a variety of programs and initiatives for health, wellness and prevention; give opportunities to seniors to contribute to the community; and make sure that everyone in need of care and help gets it. An individual, a business, a government or a community -—everyone can get involved and contribute to helping everyone to live well, beyond 60.
So, where do I start?
You start with taking the pledge to make aging your business. As amended on the DOA’s official website:
No matter your age, you can live “Well Beyond 60!” by taking the ‘Aging. It’s Everybody’s Business Pledge’:
- I pledge to challenge ageist views and negative stereotypes about aging wherever I see them;
- I pledge to make lifestyle changes that will decrease the likelihood of chronic disease and injury as I age;
- I pledge to help others understand that aging has both challenges and benefits at every stage of life;
- I pledge to remember that all Ohioans deserve opportunities to grow, thrive and contribute throughout their lifespans; and
- I pledge to make aging my business and challenge my community leaders, business owners, co-workers, family and friends to make aging their business, too!
This pledge speaks for itself, and makes it pretty clear how easy it is to start with yourself, and to spread the message among your family, friends and colleagues. The website also offers tips on how to get involved on different levels – based on your age, or whether you are a business or a community.
No matter how old we are, the quality of our lives is in large part dependent on the choices we make, and the choices that our closest ones make. I find this initiative so important and rewarding mainly due to the fact that it reminds us all of the importance of mutuality and consciousness.
In all honesty, after having read the pledge and learned about the opportunities you have to help and get involved, have you ever realized that it would be so easy to help?
To learn more about this movement, visit the official website or check out the #WellBeyond60 tag on Twitter.