Tricounty News

Never Too Old to Play

Bingo, knitting, sitting quietly in a rocking chair all may seem like normal activities for a senior, but every day these stereotypes are being broken by seniors who are Never Too Old to Play. Many seniors are bringing hobbies they love, such as tennis, motorcycling or adventure travel, into their golden years.

May is Older Americans Month, and it is a perfect opportunity to show our appreciation for the older adults in our communities. The theme for 2012ÐNever Too Old to Play!Ðputs a spotlight on the value older adults bring to our communities through their spirited participation in social and faith groups, service organization, and other activities. The theme also encourages older Americans to stay engaged, active and involved in their own lives and in their communities.

Betty Keller, of Paynesville, is one senior who knows that an active lifestyle doesn't have an age limit. Betty has spent eight years volunteering as a Foster Grandparent, working with Special Education students in Kindergarten through fourth grade. Betty taught high school for 20 years, and she uses that experience to impress upon her students the importance of education, hard work, and lifelong learning.

Betty carries her strong work ethic and dedication into other areas of her life as well.Ê She is very active in her church, volunteering on several committees. Betty also spends one afternoon a week at the nursing home, organizing a Bingo game for residents.

Even with all her volunteer activities, Betty still finds time to relax and enjoy her retirement. During the summer, you can find her on the golf course almost every day. Betty plays for fun with her husband and in a women's league, and likes the sport so much because it allows her to walk outside and enjoy the weather.

Having such a wide variety of commitments and hobbies keeps Betty busy, but her dedication to her students never waivers. Her favorite part of being a Foster Grandparent is knowing that she is helping students to learn.

This year, Senior Corps Week is being held May 7-11 to align with Older Americans Month.Ê Senior Corps, which is under the direction of the Corporation for National & Community Service, consists of the Foster Grandparent Program, the Senior Companion Program, and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.Ê Through Senior Corps programs, more than 340,000 volunteers strengthen their communities through their service.

The Central MN Foster Grandparent Program is sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud. The senior volunteers of the Central Minnesota Foster Grandparent Program provide meaningful, supportive relationships for children with special needs that enrich the lives of all involved.Ê We salute our Foster Grandparents and other Senior Corps members for making a difference for generations, and being active members of their communities.Ê For information on becoming a Foster Grandparent, please contact Jean Yager at jyager@, or (320) 229-4589.