Monday, July 27, 2009

Go for the Gold!

Are you competitive, want to meet new friends, and are age 50 or over? If so, then go for the gold this year at the Georgia Golden Olympics scheduled for September 23-26 in Warner Robins, GA. This annual competition includes 18 sports and more than 50 events including tennis, golf, swimming, track & field, cycling, bowling, ballroom dancing, horseshoes, billiards, archery, and much more.

The purpose of the games is to create an awareness of the abilities of older adults, to maintain and improve health and wellness, and to promote an interest in lifetime sports, recreation, and physical activity. This credo is aligned with Senior Citizen Services’ own mission statement to enable our seniors to enjoy a high quality of life while maintaining their independence and dignity.

Additional information about the Georgia Golden Olympics can be found on their web site at or by calling 770-867-3603.

-- by Brad Catherman, Vice President, Gift Planning, Senior Citizen Services

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Find friends, fitness and fun at a neighborhood senior center

If you are retired and haven't visited a neighborhood senior center, it's time you did. Senior centers are not a place where people sit around in rocking chairs. They are lively, fun-filled, and educational.

Neighborhood senior centers provide the services older adults need to be healthy, happy and as independent as they can be. More than 10 million Americans take part in activities through the 15,000 senior centers around the country.

What does a senior center have to offer you?

Senior centers offer a wide range of services and activities for older adults. At most senior centers, you can:

• Have a meal. No one likes to eat alone. The senior centers serve a low-cost or free noon meal where you can enjoy the company of others.
• Make friends. One of the main benefits of senior centers is the chance to connect with other people. Nine out of 10 seniors report that they've made close friendships at their senior center and that these friends are an important source of support and encouragement.
• Get fit. Fitness programs are a mainstay of senior centers. Staying strong and limber is important as you age. Many centers have a variety of fitness offerings, such as yoga, tai-chi and low-impact aerobics. Always check with your doctor before you increase your activity level or start a new exercise program.
• Take a class. Give yourself a new challenge or brush up old skills. You might learn how to use a computer, take a driver refresher course, learn folk dancing or take an arts and crafts class.
• Get a ride. Senior centers may offer a van service that can take you to the center, shopping or on field trips.
• Have fun. Many centers have recreation areas where you can play pool, have a bridge game or exercise. Senior centers host events such as holiday parties, casino nights and dances.
• Help out. You're never too old to be a volunteer. Volunteering is a way to share your experience and give back to your community. You might become a foster grandparent, knit hats for cancer patients or help others with the tax forms.
With all these opportunities waiting for you, why stay home alone?

How can I find my local senior center?

Check the Senior Citizen Services website at or phone 404-351-3889.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Atlanta a Great Place to Retire

The Atlanta Regional Commission has a Division on Aging that serves as Atlanta’s Area Agency on Aging (AAA). No matter where you live in the 50 states, you should be covered by a AAA that is responsible for implementing the services mandated by the Older Americans Act. We are fortunate that Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has a fantastic staff that is constantly reaching out to work with local nonprofit organizations like SCS to serve the needs of seniors better.

ARC completed a fascinating study of older adults in 2006 to supplement basic US Census information that is only collected every ten years. A few of the key findings include:

• A majority of older adults think the Atlanta region is a good place to retire (67%).
• Most older adults have been aging in place —living in the region an average of 37 years — and most hope to continue aging in place; 64% state that they would remain in their current home as long as they can.
• Even if they do move from their existing home, 52% plan to move to another home in the Atlanta region.

These key findings spotlight the challenging future of aging service organizations like Senior Citizen Services: more seniors are enjoying Atlanta for retirement; more seniors plan to age in place; more seniors plan to remain homeowners.

-- by Jeffrey Smythe, Executive Director

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Seniors Growing Bigger

With the new report out stating more Americans are obese than ever, the challenges in the future for individuals and the healthcare system are going to be daunting. And obesity rates among adults rose in 23 states over the past year, and no state experienced a significant decline. While the nation has long been bracing for a surge in Medicare as the boomers start turning 65, the new report makes clear that fat, not just age, will fuel much of those bills. In every state, the rate of obesity is higher among 55- to 64-year-olds — the oldest boomers — than among today's 65-and-beyond. Obesity is the leading cause for other chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

SCS offers many options for seniors to help combat this national issue. Through the eight neighborhood senior centers, for example, participants may join in the health related classes: exercise, nutrition, and the Stanford Chronic Disease Self Management Program. This program, in particular, helps individuals learn how to better live with their chronic disease while offering solutions to combat it. Many of the participants have regained control of their diseases – many have been able to cease high blood pressure medicines and insulin (under their doctor’s orders).

-- by Patrick O'Kane, Director of Operations