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Successful Aging Initiative

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Approximately 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day. According to 2012 labor
statistics roughly 76 million baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) will
change the ways in which we view senior citizens and the meaning of the word
“elderly.” By the year 2030, the number of Americans 65 years of age and older will
more than double to 71.5 million or 20% of the population (about 1 in 5) of the
population.

As the life span of the elder generation increases, nearly every aspect of our
society will be affected, including health care, leisure time, family
relationships, housing arrangements, societal connections, and economic
considerations. The top three concerns about aging suggest that respondents
are most concerned with maintaining their independence. Young older adults
(“baby boomers”) are more proactive, diverse, better educated and health conscious; and, express financial concerns about not having enough money to
stay in their homes. As citizens live longer, health, legal and financial issues are often interrelated and will also increase.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Urban Affairs and New
Nontraditional Programs unit has partnered with the state of Alabama’s
Bureau of Geriatric Psychiatry to deliver educational and training programs
designed to address issues relevant to aging/dementia and associated health,
financial and legal education. These collaborative efforts are called the
Successful Aging Initiative.

SNAP-Ed Program

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Extension agent assistants teach the Urban SNAP-Ed curriculum in groups and
individual sessions. The Urban SNAP-Ed Program uses the Wise Eating
Approaches for a Lifetime of Health curriculum for adults and Power of Choice
curriculum for youth to provide quality education and hands-on food
demonstrations for healthy snacks and recipes.

School Gardening

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Integrating school gardening into formal K-12 classroom instruction can be
challenging, but very rewarding. School gardening projects provide ample
opportunity for the integration of all subjects, while making participation
inviting and relevant to students’ lives by inspiring active exploration and
problem solving. Gardens encourage inquiry-based learning as students use
their senses, reasoning, and communication skills to find answers to various
questions.