OXFORD — Patricia Babbage, the director of senior services in the town of Oxford, spoke recently at the meeting of the Tribury Rotary Club.
She spoke about how the energy that people build as they get older is what powers them to move towns and cities forward. Older people have time to get involved.
“Communities have an opportunity to capture the momentum of older adults, but they need to foster environments that help people build this forward movement,” she added.
She feels that’s where places like a senior center come into play. Everyone can benefit from the resource of experienced people. They generally want to share their talents.
Ms. Babbage added the Oxford Senior Center tries to create a culture of “I can” rather than “I can’t.” “Senior centers should be places where ideas become realized, people are valued and experiences are built upon,” she said.
“As Americans live longer and healthier lives, this presents new opportunities for communities. Even though there is no one right way to age, creative and innovative ways of thinking can lead to collective action that will lead to better conditions and outcomes for everyone,” she continued.
The members of the Oxford Senior Center enjoy working with students from Oxford schools. The students come to the center and the members go to the schools for a variety of programs. They each benefit from these intergenerational activities.
“One of the main objectives of the center is to help older adults age in place by maintaining their independence for as long as possible,” said Ms. Babbage. “The support of the business leaders in the community is important as well in reaching this goal.”
As part of their mission, the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut is committed to building awareness, breaking down stereotypes and challenging unfair policies to stop ageism now. The ultimate goal is to bring back the belief that aging is a natural part of life and not a problem to be solved.
Those interested may visit aoascc.org/take-the-pledge/ and add their name as a commitment to fight ageism.
The Oxford Senior Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.