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Talkin' 'Bout My Generation: Where Seniors Fit in New NKY Vision

This column is written by Ken Rechtin, interim executive director of Senior Services of Northern Kentucky

Last year the Administration on Aging’s theme for Older Americans Month of May was: Unleash the Power of Age. 

First of all, why would we only celebrate in May? At Senior Services of Northern Kentucky every month is Older Americans Month! As “Older Americans”, let’s begin celebrating our age every day and every month of the year!
 
Now, where is that power that we are to unleash? Power of Age? What Power? Age means old, weak and feeble. Age means weakening eyes, knees and back. Age means aching feet and joints. Age means canes, walkers and wheelchairs. Age means hearing aids and hearing loss (especially when we are asked to mow the lawn or take out the garbage).
 
In 1990, Snap released the catchy song: “I’ve Got the Power”. Yes, I believe that the power is both personal (I) and collective (we). And, just like superman, our powers are super powers. 
 
Where is our power?
 
• It is in our maturity.
 
• It is in our rich life experiences that we share.
 
• It is in our leadership skills that we teach.
 
• It is in our mentoring of others.
 
• It is in our wisdom that comes from experiences lived, learned and taught.
 
• It is in our unwavering values that we have gained by occasionally taking the wrong path and 
 
learning from it.
 
• It is in our positive attitude.
 
• It is in our easy smile and laughter that comes from not taking ourselves or others too seriously.
 
• It is in our knowing when it is time to be serious.
 
• It is in the voting booth that we will always use because we know that every vote counts.
 
• It is in the respect that we give to the decisions that come from elections.
 
• It is in our collective voice for “the never ending battle for truth, justice and the American way”.
 
After thinking about it, we are a very powerful group of people and we should unleash and use our powers.
 
I think that there is power in age.
 
What do you think?
 
The opportunity to “unleash that power” is before us right now. We have the wisdom and experiences to help create the vision of tomorrow for Northern Kentucky. Our power is in our vision of the future for the next generation. 
 
How do we get our collective thoughts and vision out?
 
Your voice can be heard through the planning process embarked upon by the folks at Vision 2015. As a community of Northern Kentucky we have had three visioning processes. By many measurements, each one has been a success. 
 
As the “experienced” population of Northern Kentucky, let’s lend our expertise to this visioning process. 
 
Let’s go to the website: myNKY.org. Once there, you will be asked to “play the game” by “investing” $1,000.000.00 into Jobs, Housing, Education, Transportation or Health and Wellness. 
 
Do it today and use your wisdom to influence the future of Northern Kentucky.
 
There is so much to this “getting old” thing that we need to talk about. If I don’t know the answer, I will learn along with you. If you find this article helpful and have suggestions about other topics, I would appreciate it if you let me know at 859-292-7971 or email me at [email protected] or write to me at SSNK, 1032 Madison Avenue, Covington, Kentucky 41011. 
 
Ken Rechtin is the Interim Executive Director of Senior Services of Northern Kentucky. Senior Services of Northern Kentucky is a 501c3 not for profit serving the needs of the Northern Kentucky aging population for 50 years.