Senior power aids Ohio

Senior power aids Ohio

Ohio’s population age 60+ will increase 30 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2040. To continue thriving as a state, we must unleash the power of our elders — or as we like to call them, our Golden Buckeyes.

Golden Buckeyes are elders inspired by their age, not defined by it. During this year’s Ohio State Fair, the Ohio Department of Aging partnered with several groups of seniors who are true Golden Buckeyes. They helped us hold “flash mobs” (“impromptu” performances in a crowd) to demonstrate that aging can be cool and how to improve and maintain health at any age.

These Golden Buckeyes were terrific. There were flash mobs for line dancing, chair volleyball, street hockey, tai chi, a sing-along, and something called laughter yoga. We distributed bookmarks to spectators explaining the value of these activities for physical health, improving balance and preventing falls, and for socialization.

We emphasized the importance of living a healthy lifestyle earlier in life to enjoy a healthier life as we age. I had the opportunity to introduce the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Band and Choir before a performance, and they promised to be Golden Buckeyes-in-training by drinking their milk to reduce the chances of osteoporosis later in life.

Will you pledge to be a Golden Buckeye, too? To learn how, visit our website at .

Bonnie K. Burman, Columbus

The writer is director of the Ohio Department of Aging.