Active Aging Week was started in 2003 by the International Council on Active Aging and coincides each year with International Day of Older Persons on October 1. This year, Active Aging Week is October 3-9, 2022. The theme for Active Aging Week this year is: Wellness. Active Aging Week celebrates aging and promotes the benefits of an active lifestyle at any age. By highlighting older adults participating in healthy lifestyles, the movement celebrates positive aging, and encourages older adults to live well physically, mentally, AND socially.
Age-Friendly Buncombe County has over 80 partner organizations, workgroups, and older adults working together with the common agenda of keeping older adults Safe, Well, and Engaged. Related to the Active Aging Week theme of wellness, there are many organizations in Buncombe County that work daily to keep older adults healthy and engaged.
For optimum physical, mental, and social health, there are multiple senior centers and adult day care centers where older adults and their caregivers can go for exercise, activities, learning opportunities, and congregate meals as listed below.
- The Council on Aging of Buncombe County operates four congregate dining sites in partnership with the City of Asheville, City of Black Mountain, and Weaverville First Baptist Church. These congregate dining sites are Grove Street Community Center, Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center, Lakeview Center for Active Aging, and Weaverville First Baptist Church.
- The City of Asheville also has two other senior centers – Harvest House Recreation Center and Burton Street Community Center.
- MountainCare provides respite for caregivers as their loved ones receive socialization, exercise, activities, and meals through the Adult Day Care and Mountain Explorers programs.
- Jewish Family Services also provides respite for caregivers through Faye’s Place Elder Club where their loved ones can go for socialization.
- Meals on Wheels of Asheville Buncombe County provides meals to homebound older adults. Not only does Meals on Wheels provide nutritious meals for optimum physical health, but they also provide socialization opportunities through their volunteers.
For optimum mental health, multiple organizations provide support to older adults and their caregivers as listed below:
- Jewish Family Services provides mental health counseling through the Healing Solutions Counseling Program.
- MemoryCare provides treatment and support for families affected by Alzheimer’s and other neuro-cognitive impairments by offering care consultations for the caregivers, education about neuro-cognitive impairments through their Caregiver College Program, Caregiver Support Groups, and a library of resources related to many topics of aging, such as exercise, nutrition, caregiving, age-related illnesses, end-of-life care, etc.
- MountainCare has Caregiver Support Groups to help caregivers.
- The Council on Aging of Buncombe County has a Caregiver Support Group called Caring for Aging People Education & Support.
For optimum social health, the congregate dining sites and senior centers mentioned above provide many opportunities for socialization.
- Additionally, the Social Bridging Project, a partnership between UNCA, North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness and Healthy Aging NC provide trained volunteers to call isolated older adults for social wellness checks, assistance with technology, and connection to resources.
Age-Friendly Buncombe County appreciates all the work done by our partner organizations in keeping older adults healthy and well not only during Active Aging Week, but daily throughout the year!