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May is Older Americans Month in county

May 26, 2011

Mikki Oakes (seated, left), director of Development and Community Relations for the Area Agency on Aging, helped Jefferson County Commissioners Paul Corbin (seated, right) and Jeff Pisarcik (back) proclaim May as Older Americans Month in the county. (Photo by Natalie Bruzda)

BROOKVILLE — Tuesday, the Jefferson County Commissioners proclaimed the month of May as Older Americans Month.

More than 4,000 people aged 60 and older live in Jefferson County, and this proclamation is designed to recognize their involvement in the lives of the county’s residents.

Mikki Oakes, director of the Area Agency on Aging’s Development and Community Relations, thanked the commissioners for their efforts in connecting to the community.

“We appreciate the commissioners’ support of our seniors here in Jefferson County,” she said.

The proclamation reads that the community can provide recognition and respect to older Americans by:

• Increasing their opportunities to remain in their communities as active and engaged citizens.

• Providing services, technologies and support systems that allow seniors to foster and maintain connections within the community.

• Emphasizing the value of elders by publicly recognizing their contributions to the diversity, strength and unity of the community.

Oakes also invited the commissioners and the public to the grand opening of the Heritage House Cafe June 15.

Although the cafe officially opened during the first week in February, some kinks needed to be worked out to prepare for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house next month.

“We want to attract some of the baby boomers into the center to increase participation,” Oakes said.

From noon to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. June 15, everyone is invited to the Heritage House Cafe to get a taste of what the center offers.

According to Oakes, although the county’s Area Agency on Aging would mainly like to target senior citizens, all are welcome to attend the open house and to become involved in the agency’s various centers.

“We want the younger generation to understand that it’s not just for old people,” she said. “Our centers are very much full of different activities like Zumba and art classes. Yes, we still have bingo, but we are implementing newer activities.”

In addition to next month’s open house, the Jefferson County Area Agency on Aging is celebrating its 35th anniversary with its annual senior fair and picnic.

More than 20 vendors will be present with demonstrations and screenings.

“We want it to be a blowout this year because it is our 35th year,” Oakes said.

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