Many Opportunities for Mid Life & Beyond
According to the U.S. Census, about 15 percent of Iowans are age 65 or older. They may be retirement age, but that doesn’t mean they are retiring. Many are remaining in the workforce or are looking for new opportunities. Mid Life & Beyond: The Whole Picture, from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, is helping Iowans examine how they want to live during their next stage of life.
The Mid Life & Beyond program provides opportunities for communities to enhance quality of life for Iowans who are mid life in age or beyond, said Donna Donald, a family life program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. The program provides anyone age 45 or older an opportunity to explore several aspects of whole person wellness, including physical, social, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, occupational and financial concerns.
Iowans in about a third of the state’s 99 counties have been participating in Mid Life & Beyond study circles and action projects, helping their communities take on the challenges and opportunities of an aging population, Donna Donald said. Mid Life & Beyond is offering more educational options in these counties in 2014. ISU Extension and Outreach specialists are training volunteer lifestyle guides who will work one-on-one with individuals or present educational programs to community groups:
- MyPlate helps participants consider nutrition basics compared with their current diet. Participants learn about healthful eating using MyPlate concepts.
- Eat Smart, Life Strong: Nutrition Education for Older Adults is a four-session program designed to improve fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity among 60–74 year olds.
- Caregiving Relationships: Conversations on Aging helps family members recognize how caregiving affects relationships among family members. It also builds talking and listening skills for addressing changing needs in later life. The two-session program is a gateway to the longer Powerful Tools for Caregivers, which can be offered in a community.
- Sharpen Your Financial Coaching Skills is a five-week course designed for volunteers and others who want to work one-on-one with clients to resolve financial management issues.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance uses volunteers to help low and moderate income families complete simple tax returns. The volunteers must complete VITA training and pass the IRS test. “If your county does not currently offer this service, you could lead the effort,” Mrs. Donald said.
- Are Adult Children Dipping into Your Retirement? This self-study provides an opportunity for parents and their adult children to talk about emotional and financial issues. The resource guide provides suggested sources for information around this topic which may help parents and their adult children to develop a strategy that fits their needs.
Look for more offerings at the Mid Life & Beyond website, www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/midlife-and-beyond
Susan Taylor, ISU Extension and Outreach family life specialist, 563-583-6496, firstname.lastname@example.org
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