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 2 - 8, 2023. Active Aging Week celebrates the positive attributes of aging and promotes the benefits of an active lifestyle at any age by providing older adults with opportunities to engage in exercise and wellness activities in a safe, supportive environment.
The NC Center for Health and Wellness (NCCHW) at UNC Asheville has an initiative called the Healthy Aging NC Resource Center which is North Carolina’s statewide resource center for evidence-based health programs. Healthy Aging NC connects people to programs and agencies that improve community health and increases the capacity for agencies to offer evidence-based programs through their website, Healthy Aging North Carolina | Home - Healthy Aging NC. The Healthy Aging NC website displays the current programs offered by agencies and participants can enroll online. Additionally, the website provides healthy aging resources, training, and webinars.
Evidence-based programs (EBPs) have been proven to promote health and prevent disease in older adults through prior research. Older adults who participate in evidence-based programs may be able to lower their risk for falls and chronic diseases. EBPs supported through Healthy Aging NC include; A Matter of Balance, Enhance Fitness, Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (available in Spanish too), Diabetes Self-Management Program (available in Spanish too), Chronic Pain Self-Management Program, Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention, The Otago Exercise Program, YMCA: Moving for Better Balance, and Walk with Ease. More information about these EBPs can be found online at the Healthy Aging NC website.
Land of Sky Regional Council Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is one of the local providers that offers evidence-based programs for older adults (age 60+) regularly at different sites throughout the community, such as A Matter of Balance, Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention, and Living Healthy with Chronic Disease or Diabetes. Starting on Tuesday, October 3 from 1:30 - 2:30 pm, Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention will be offered at the Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention is also offered at the Grove Street Community Center on the third Tuesday of the month from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. A Matter of Balance will be offered at Asheville Community Yoga starting Monday, October 30 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. If you would like more information about any of the programs that Land of Sky Area Agency on Aging offers, please contact Brea Kuykendall, Aging Program Specialist for Health Promotion, at email@example.com or call 828-251-7438. (Flyers with more information about the upcoming programs are attached.)
There are other organizations in Buncombe County that provide opportunities for older adults to engage in exercise and wellness activities. Some upcoming opportunities are listed below as well as opportunities for older adults to participate regularly.
- Buncombe County Parks and Recreation is offering free guided hikes called Woodland Wonders Walks. Registration is required. For more information and to register, please click on County Center - Explore the Great Outdoors with Buncombe County Parks & Recreation or call 828-250-4260.
- YWCA is offering free community classes which include Zumba, Brain Dance & Play, Slow Flow Yoga, and Barre Sculpt and Tone. Registration is encouraged. For more information, please click on FREE Community Classes! - YWCA of Asheville or call 828-254-7206.
- Asheville City Parks and Recreation has ten community centers, some community centers have activities specifically for older adults. To see the program guide, please click on Program Guide - The City of Asheville (ashevillenc.gov).
- Black Mountain Parks and Recreation has the Lakeview Active Aging Center which has many programs for older adults to get involved. For more information, please click on Senior News & Announcements | Black Mountain, NC (townofblackmountain.org).
- YMCA has programs to support healthy aging and chronic condition support. For more information, please click on Health & Fitness Programs | YMCA of Western North Carolina (ymcawnc.org).
Buncombe County has a wealth of opportunities to stay active from the listings mentioned above to private gyms to outdoor activities where one can take in the beauty of our area. Join Age-Friendly Buncombe County in celebrating active and engaged aging not only during Active Aging Week but throughout the year.