An “Aging” Opportunity

Every eight seconds.  Today in America someone is turning sixty-five years of age every eight seconds.  This equals into more than 10,000 people daily as this trend will continue over the next 30+ years.  By 2030, one out of every five Virginians will be at that age threshold.  A majority of people moving into Culpeper today are fifty or better.   Our community was just recognized as a fast-growing retirement area.  The “age wave” is coming ashore, but what does this really mean? Some may believe that aging is bad, as it means we’re getting older, sicker, and less productive in our living.  While there are certainly both physical and psychological changes which occur in the aging process, there are also a plethora of benefits to becoming older.  The opportunity of time.  The opportunity to try new things.  The opportunity of learning. The opportunity of becoming politically active. The opportunity of forging new relationships.  The opportunity to work.  And the opportunity to serve.  While every person ages differently, becoming mature does not prevent us from living life to the fullest.  And that’s exactly God’s view. In Holy Scripture we read how God promises to take care of and use us for his purposes as we become older.  In Isaiah 46:4 it is written, “even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you.  I have made, I will bear; I will carry and will save.”  The concept that the Lord using us to share his “Good News” to future generations is seen as the psalmist cries out in Psalm 72:18, “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”    And in II Samuel we’re told about an aged man named Barzillai.  Barzillai served King David as David’s son, Absalom, was trying to wrestle the kingdom away from his father.   Are you interested in learning more about God’s plan for us as we grow older?  I have just written a free bible study called “Scriptural Retirement-Serving and Sharing Jesus.” It can be downloaded on the Internet at Culpeper is a great place to age!  Outside of the recreational, educational, cultural and medical infrastructure that is available there are other resources that will also assist us as we get older.  Do we need help with Medicaid/Medicare?  Do we desire access to transportation?  Do we seek Meals on Wheels or other nutrition programs? Do we have an urgency for other senior services?  Please call 540-825-3100.  This is the one-stop phone number to the Community Services Board-The Area Agency on Aging.  Do you suspect any kind of elder abuse or concerned about an older neighbor?  Please call 540-727-0372.  This will connect you to the Culpeper Human Services-Adult Protective Services.  Are you interested in networking with other senior providers or would like to plan activities like the Senior Prom, the Aging Expo and other events?  Please call Aging Together at 540-829-6405.  Do you wish to be a part of a weekly senior group that meets at the Culpeper County Library on Wednesday’s from 10am-2:00pm?  Consider joining The Silver Citizens Club sponsored by the Culpeper County Parks and Recreation.  For more information call 540-727-3412.  Many churches in the area also provide programs and ministry to older adults. Realizing that many of our older residents desire to keep living in their homes if there were supports available, members of the faith, governmental, social service and business community have come together to form a task force group called, “Culpeper Livable Aging Community” (C.L.A.C). The purpose of this group is to look for ways to help people to “age in place.”  For more information, please call 540-270-1026.  Aging is alive and well in Culpeper, Virginia!  But as a community we’re not looking at getting older as just the final stage of a person’s life.  We see it as a wonderful opportunity to grow, experience, learn and serve.  The process of aging cannot be altered or stopped.   However, in our mature years, we can certainly live life to the fullest and make a positive impact upon the generations to come.