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Largo Community Center teaches seniors to live actively

Gen. George S. Patton once said, "An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body." If that is so, the Largo Community Center did its part to promote active minds and bodies among its senior population last week with activities during Active Aging Week.

The event was started seven years ago by the International Council on Active Aging and is celebrated nationally the last week of September.

By promoting active aging, the council hopes more older adults will lead healthier lives. All activities are free and designed to accommodate people at different levels of mobility.

This was the first year the Largo Community Center has participated in the program. It is the only recreational facility in Florida involved in the program, said Craig Dolan, recreation program supervisor for the center, who designed the local activities.

Dolan said the idea is "more than just being physical. There are so many types of activities that will keep you young."

The center offered self-defense and awareness training, line dancing, tai chi, yoga, diabetic and fitness classes and a golf workshop. Three of the programs — Nintendo Wii challenge, yoga stretch, and self-defense and awareness — were new programs introduced during Active Aging Week that will continue throughout the year.

By offering these programs free, the center allowed many older adults to participate in activities they may not participate in otherwise.

Fast facts

By the numbers

People 65 and older

Largo30.1 percent
Pinellas20.8 percent
Florida16.8 percent
United States12.4 percent

U.S. Census Bureau (2000 census for Largo, 2006 estimates for Pinellas, Florida and U.S. percentages)

People 85 and older

Florida2.7 percent
United States1.8 percent
Florida rankNo. 1

(tied with North Dakota)

U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 population estimates

Trends in aging

>> In 2000, 28 percent of the population 65 and older lived alone in households. This percentage varied by age, from 22 percent for the 65- to 74-year-old group to 39 percent for those 85 and older.

>> About 6 percent of the 65 and older population lived in group quarters. About 2 percent of people 65 to 74 lived in group quarters, compared with 22 percent for people 85 and older.

>> About 7.5-million older women lived alone, compared with 2.4-million older men.

>> For three of the five disabilities measured by Census 2000, the disability rate of the population 65 and older was at least three times the rate of the total population.

>> The population 65 and older reported mental disabilities at twice the rate of the total population.

>> Forty-seven percent of the population 85 and older reported a disability that caused difficulties going outside the home, compared with 13 percent for people 65 to 74.

>> Forty-two percent of the population 65 and older reported some type of long lasting condition or a disability in 2000.

>> Thirty-two percent of people 65 to 74 reported at least one disability, in contrast with 72 percent of people 85 and older.

We the People: Aging in the United States, U.S. Census Bureau

Largo Community Center teaches seniors to live actively 09/30/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 2:17pm]
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