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Senior Spectrum Newspaper
June 2017
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Senior Spectrum Publications

Lessons from Older Americans Month 2017
by Donna Clontz

Aging Out Loud!

Donna Clontz
Donna Clontz

Throughout May 2017, we browsed through the beautiful Older Americans Month (OAM) booklet and picked out a few things to attend to learn something new, explore activities we’ve never tried or just go have some fun! There were over 70 choices for events covering four themes for OAM this year. A VERY LOUD THANK YOU to all our organizers, hosts and presenters! Here are some of the highlights:

Strive for Wellness: There were Zumba, yoga and meditation classes, discovery walks in our local parks, help with medication management, archery lessons, learning how to prevent falls and stay safe at home, aquacise, pickleball, dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, line dancing, an open house at UNR’s Sanford Center for Aging and tour of its new Geriatric Specialty Clinic. Our local police, fire and emergency responders put on a terrific senior safety fair and taught CPR to seniors.

Magali Cooke, Washoe County Senior Services.
Magali Cooke, Washoe County Senior Services.
Photo credit: Donna Clontz

Know Your Rights: Attorneys George McNally, from the Senior Law Project and Homa Woodrum from Nevada Aging and Disability Services advised seniors on preventing evictions, telephone scams, elder abuse and more. Seniors in the audience made plans for further assistance. Wells Fargo experts hosted several sessions at local libraries about budgeting on a fixed income and preventing elder financial abuse.

Stay Engaged: We attended city council and county commission meetings to make public comment and receive our OAM proclamations, enjoyed several picnics, went to a thought-provoking Nevada Humanities Salon called “Aging Creatively” at Sundance Books, saw a unique and witty performance of Aging Repertory Theater at the Reno Little Theater, and took an informative ride to Northern Nevada Food Bank on an RTC bus, learning about RTC’s programs for seniors and how the Food Bank serves thousands of hungry seniors in our region.

Explore New Things: Folks aged 50+ enjoyed free entries for OAM to the National Automobile Museum every Thursday and free entry to the Nevada Art Museum every Wednesday; a group took a guided walk of downtown Sparks with Scott Carey coupled with a visit to the Sparks Heritage and Train Museum. There was a jaunt to Genoa Hot Springs and to the Saturday matinee Broadway show, “Cinderella” at the Pioneer Center.

Stan Dowdy, Mac Rossi, Donna Clontz, members of Reno Senior Citizen Advisory Committee
L to R - Stan Dowdy, Mac Rossi, Donna Clontz, members of Reno Senior Citizen Advisory Committee. Photo credit: TapSnap.com

Stuff a Bus for Seniors: The 4th annual Stuff a Bus for Seniors donation drive was organized and managed this year for the first time by the Reno and Washoe County senior advisory boards. We had 22 big, blue barrels stationed at our senior centers, Reno and Sparks city halls, the Washoe Sheriff’s, DA’s and Social Services offices, RTC’s office, The Continuum, My Wedding Library and Jet.com distribution center. Additionally, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada delivered two pallets of nonfood items to the 9th & Sutro senior center during the drive! RTC parked its bus in front of Greater Nevada Field on May 30 from 4 to 6 p.m. and everyone who helped us Stuff a Bus there received 2 for 1 ticket vouchers to upcoming Reno Aces or Reno 1868s upcoming events. We got cash donations totaling over $2,300 from Nevada Health Link, Marshall Realty, Senior Care Plus and the community. All the donations were delivered to the social workers at Washoe County Senior Services for distribution to needy seniors in our community. We thank all our organizers, our barrel sponsors, our volunteer barrel loaders and unloaders, our inventory-takers, the local media, and all of you out in the community who donated your time and your gifts to help our lowest-income seniors.

Overall, OAM was a rousing success and we look forward to May 2018 to do it all again!

Please contact me at donnanorm1@ yahoo.com or at 775-240-2745 for more information.

Upcoming Senior Advocacy Events

  • Washoe County Senior Services Advisory Board – June 7, 3 p.m., 9th St. Senior Center.
  • Reno Senior Citizen Advisory Committee - June 13, 1 p.m., Evelyn Mount Community Center, Tuscarora Rm.
  • Senior Health Advocate Training – Center for Healthy Aging at 775-237-8375 or info@addinglifetoyears.com/