Here’s some counsel on aging

Marcy Schwam

We’ve all heard “age” is only a number. “You don’t look your ‘age.'” What
exactly does that mean? Let’s take a deep dive into Marblehead’s hidden
gem, for when you’re fortunate enough to reach that number without
“aging.”
Our Council on Aging, located at the Jacobi Community Center, is almost a
misnomer as it is more of an enrichment center than a “gathering place” for
aging adults.

All cities and towns have councils on aging and they are part of
the National Council on Aging Organization.
“The mission of the COA is to enhance the quality of life for seniors,
and to promote respect and good will in the community, by
informing, educating, and advocating for seniors and those who care
for them, and to provide services and activities which promote
healthy, successful and enjoyable aging,” states the Council’s mission statement.
In that context, I find all of the above true, but what it doesn’t address or attract
is the younger end of the spectrum to which I belong. So, let’s focus on
that, rather than aging.
Did you know that our SHINE counselors can help you navigate the
Medicare system when you turn 65? SHINE Counselors provide unbiased
guidance and advice on health insurance and Medicare and it’s a free
service.
Did you know that if you are 65 or older, there are reduced fares for the
MBTA? Charlie Card processing assistance is provided at the COA.
Are you unable to drive due to circumstances beyond your control? The
COA provides transportation services to local establishments and medical
appointments.
Are you aware of the Senior Tax Work Off Program? 60 and over adults
whose income and lifestyle meet requirements can volunteer hours to
reduce their tax bill.
Have you looked at all the fitness classes and recreation programs offered? Many of these classes and programs are excellent for those returning from injury or just getting into a fitness routine. They are not exclusive to “aging.”
Better yet, are you as the new 60 year old, caring for an older parent?
There is plenty of good advice and services available to assist you as you
embark on that journey.
The definition of “age-ism” is prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a
person’s age.
Many of us who approach 60, unfortunately, discriminate against our own
age group as a way of being identified only as “seniors.”
Rather than hide from it, embrace it and check us out.
Contact the Marblehead Council on Aging at (781) 631-6225 or email:
concilonaging@marblehead.org for more information.

Marcy Schwam is currently on the Board of Directors of the Council on Aging and an
active volunteer at the Center.