Today’s show is the first time that I’ve been in the studio without a co-host or a scheduled guest – ever! I debuted the show on September 25, 2011, and so this is our 93 program. And in every other one I’ve had at least one co-host or guest to share the microphone with me.
So today was a new adventure for yours truly! And I started conversations on a variety of topics. It’s always been fascinating to me how few topics it actually takes to springboard off of to fill a two hour radio program. I started out with the immense problem that is to be found in almost every community in America- Hunger! Hunger in America, for all ages, is almost invisible to most of us. We think of the pan handler on the street corner with a sign that reads something like “will work for food”. Well, I can assure you that Hunger is ubiquitous in this country. And it is almost always hidden. So many children go to school each morning without any breakfast, and if not for the school programs, would not have any nourishment of benefit that morning.
Senior citizens have to make daily choices between food and medicine; food and heat or air conditioning; food and a few dollars for their children or grandchildren. Food insecurity is a fixable problem in these United States, and the solutions are not as difficult as one might imagine.
We also rambled into “what does age look like to you”; embracing the aging process; life changes as we age; caring for the less fortunate among us; volunteerism; and the importance of exercise to maintain muscle mass.
Michael Olender and Leonardo Scarpati, both Associate State Directors of AARP North Carolina, were my special guests on Radio 4 the Ages today. Although these two gentlemen are assigned to North Carolina, the AARP efforts to improve the lives of all Americans, and specifically those 50+, were discussed this morning.
If you, like many others upon reaching the age of 50, go through the stages of grief that accompany that milestone, you should rejoice in your new found ability to join AARP! As Michael Olender put it, “…50 is now the new 25.” Volunteerism is a vital part of AARP’s efforts to involve the community in service. Their ‘Life Reimagined for Work’ program is an AARP resource, connected through LinkedIn, that connects older workers with companies who value the contributions of experienced workers. All you need is a most affordable membership to AARP to take advantage of all the many benefits available.
Michael and Leo discussed many AARP initiatives, including Livable Community Listening Sessions, Coffee and Conversation, Affordable Utilities Now and many more. It’s a far ranging conversation that clearly states the AARP message for improving quality of life for our 50+ Americans.
Whether you live in the Charlotte area, in South Carolina, or are listening anywhere in the United States, please visit the AARP web site to explore the wonderful information available there as well as the services and opportunities that AARP offers.
Joining the Radio 4 the Ages team this Sunday were Debora Sparks (Council on Aging), Ann Marie Obrikat (Council on Aging), and Katie Kutcher (Centralina Area Agency on Aging, Charlotte Mecklenburg Aging Coalition) to talk about their organization. We learn about the history of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Council on Aging as well as what they do. All of us here at Radio 4 the Ages were really surprised to learn about all the important and interesting work the Council on Aging does to improve the lives of senior adults and baby boomers in the Charlotte region. They explained how they work with elected government officials and seniors to provide a platform for better communication in the community, as well as some wonderful research to help the county plan for the coming wave of an aging population including baby boomers, seniors, and retirees. If you want to learn more about the Council on Aging, tune in, call in, and get involved!
- Debora Sparks
Executive Direct, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Council on Aging
- Ann Marie Obrikat
- Katie Kutcher
Aging Specialist, Centralina Area Agency on Aging
Co-Chair of Advocacy Committee of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Aging Coalition