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Community Education Programming for Those Age Fifty Plus

Why an emphasis on this segment of the Adult Enrichment population?

Adults age Fifty Plus are a relatively large demographic group that, while not all alike, share some common characteristics. Fifty Plus adults are often in a transition period that introduces some unique needs, including a changing schedule and routine. Oftentimes Fifty Plus adults experience a shift in their life focus from launching their adult children and their careers to rethinking how to spend their time. Community Education programming can help with this transition.

Fifty Plus adults benefit from learning and spending time with other adults going through similar circumstances. This motivates them to focus on their health, stay active, build and maintain social relationships and interactions, and continue with community involvement.

In addition to these benefits, keeping Fifty Plus adults actively engaged with the public schools is a way Community Education can provide additional support to the school system. By marketing specifically to the Fifty Plus demographic, their importance to Community Education, as well as an awareness of their age-related needs and interests, is reinforced.

It is important to mark the offerings in the Community Education catalog, website, and additional marketing materials so Fifty Plus adults are clear the indicated activities are specifically geared to them.

Potential areas for Fifty Plus programming—What’s already in your Community Education catalog?

Several questions arise for Fifty Plus adults regarding their health and wellness. Community Education classes and activities can be offered in collaboration with local health care providers, organizations, and agencies. This helps to educate Fifty Plus adults about the natural process of aging. Some of these offerings may include:

  • Nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Managing Medications
  • Falls Prevention
  • Memory Loss
  • Alternative Healing Therapies
  • Zumba Gold
  • Water Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Mat Pilates
  • Strength and Conditioning

In addition to the questions that arise for Fifty Plus adults regarding their health and wellness, concerns arise regarding how to navigate the aging process and the necessary tasks that come with it. Some offerings that address these concerns may include:

Downsizing:

  • Readying Your Home to Age in Place
  • Retirement Communities
  • Assisted Living
  • Rehabilitation Centers and Nursing Homes
  • Moving Your Parents Out of Their Home

Personal Finance:

  • Retirement Planning
  • Managing Income in Retirement
  • Social Security
  • Medicare, including Medicare Part D
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Probate
  • Estate Planning
  • Keeping the Cabin/Farm in the Family
  • Pension Rights
  • Frauds and Scams

Enjoying Retirement:

  • Travel
  • Trips and Tours
  • Being a Snowbird
  • Volunteering
  • Grandparenting

Concerns also arise for FIfty Plus adults regarding end-of-life issues. Some offerings that address these concerns may include:

Non-Financial Retirement Planning:

  • The Day After Retirement
  • Finding Purpose in Retirement
  • Considering Retirement
  • Life Reimagined

Advanced Planning for End of Life Issues:

  • Begin the Conversation (talking with family about end of life plans)
  • Developing an Advanced Directive (Living Will)
  • Palliative Care
  • Hospice Care
  • What to Do When Someone Dies
  • Planning Your Own Funeral
  • Writing Your Own Obituary
  • Sharing Your Life Story
  • Being Mortal (book by Dr. Atul Gawande)

Currently 1 in 4 Americans is a caregiver in one or more ways. Community Education should also consider developing support groups for the wide range of caregiving situations. Leadership could also be provided to help your community become dementia friendly: http://www.actonalz.org/application-new-minnesota-action-communities

Fifty Plus adults as Community Education (and community!) resources

Fifty Plus adults have time, motivation, and often the resources (life and career skills) to learn, teach, volunteer, and contribute to Community Education. They have years years of experience and talent that can be tapped as instructors or volunteers

Volunteering and connecting with children in the school system can serve as a key way for Fifty Plus adults to find purpose and fulfillment in retirement, as many Fifty Plus adults want to continue working and staying active. Because companionship is an integral part of ensuring that Fifty Plus adults lead a happy, fulfilling life, Community Education provides established ways to developing close personal connections and relationships.

Ways to Develop Collaborations:

  • Local nursing homes
  • Senior residences, assisted living facilities
  • Local health care organizations
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Fitness facilities and organizations
  • County services
  • Foundations

Resources to Get Started

There are several resources for Fifty Plus adults to utilize, including:

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