RIDGEWOOD, NJ – May is Older Americans Month across the United States and Ridgewood is celebrating in its own unique way. Age Friendly Ridgewood is displaying an exhibit in the village public library titled ‘Aging Outbound’. The exhibit shows dozens of pictures of older Ridgewood residents participating in community events as well as doing everyday activities such as gardening, swimming, and walking throughout town.
Age Friendly Co-Chair Sheila Brogan told TAPinto Ridgewood “We reached out to a number of local photographers. They sent us their photographs and from that we combed through them and picked them out for this display.”
The theme “Aging Outbound” is exactly what it sounds like – a chance for older Ridgewood residents to show their ability to do the things that middle-aged and younger people do on an everyday basis.
“How are you engaged and what are you doing in your community to keep active and feel good about yourself,” explained Brogan on the chosen theme. “I think these pictures show that so well as we look at people who are engaged in gardening and helping the community, painting, cooking, dancing, singing.”
This is the second year Age Friendly Ridgewood is displaying this exhibit at the village library, however, this year there was much more planning involved. She said that in 2022 the execution of a plan did not happen until close to the month of May and the exhibit was not opened until June. This year, the older Americans advocacy group made sure to plan and celebrate on time.
“Last year we sort of thought about it late,” Brogan said. “We got it in June, but we liked the concept so much. There was a little bit more planning involved [this year] and we have mastered it, so we are in May where we are celebrating older adults.”
Brogan also spoke about the importance of highlighting the older Americans that live in the village as the group makes up almost a quarter of the Ridgewood population.
“I think that is why we do it because we want older people to know that we honor them, we appreciate them, that they have a voice in our community, that they are really part of it, and I think when you look at this [exhibit] you see that they are part of our community. We have a lot of older people still living in our community, so we ought to pay attention to them, we ought to celebrate them.”
Brogan emphasized that the interests of older Ridgewood residents and the Village community at large are aligned.
“The whole theme for Age Friendly Ridgewood is that as we improved the community for older adults, we improve the community for everyone.”
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