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Old at Heart

  • Written by Lisa Yeager
“It annoys me when people say, ‘Even if you’re old, you can be young at heart!’ Hiding inside this well-meaning phrase is a deep cultural assumption that old is bad and young is good. What’s wrong with being old at heart, I’d like to know? Wouldn’t you like to be loved by people whose hearts have practiced loving for a long time?”
 
This is a quote by Susan Moon. I don’t know who she is but I like it! Our society does worship youth and beauty. But growing older can be very beautiful. It’s an opportunity not given to everyone!
 
The very beautiful Sophia Loren said, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” Well said, Sophia.
 
In Mozambique the average life expectancy is around 47 years old! So look at the opportunities we have!
 
But what are we going to do with this longer life? Older Adults are an enormous resource. Half a million Americans over age 55 are volunteers for the National Senior Service Corps, serving as foster grandparents and other roles. Hundreds more are in the Peace Corps. Locally, many seniors are serving as mentors at Carnation Elementary. Many others help at the local food bank or cook and serve at community dinners or with the local radio station Valley 104.9.
 
Of course volunteers are the life blood of the Sno-Valley Senior Center, helping in the Re-In-Carnation thrift store, at lunch and at the reception desk, not to mention teaching classes or using their skills on the board. Some people volunteer as friendly visitors to elders who are home bound for various reasons. Many volunteer to help with our fundraisers like bingo or the plant sale or the auction, on a one-time basis or on-going.
Many people have a New Years Resolution to be healthier. Volunteering makes a person of any age healthier by providing social, mental and physical benefits. Volunteering provides meaning and purpose to our lives. Scientific studies show that volunteers live longer!
 
If you’d like to volunteer with the Sno-Valley Senior Center, contact Kira Avery at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 425-333-4152. We hold regular volunteer orientations where you can learn about us and the opportunities and we can learn about you to make the best fit.
 
Volunteering makes the person “old at heart” make a difference with a heart that has practiced loving a long time.
 
Lisa Yeager, Director of the Sno-Valley Senior Center, 4610 Stephens, Carnation, WA 98014, 425-333-4152 www.snovalleysenior.org We inspire, support and empower older adults to lead healthy, enriched lives.

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