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Old Dogs Do Learn New Tricks

Old Dogs Do Learn New Tricks

A phrase frequently used is “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  Sometimes this refers to one being too stubborn to learn to do something differently.  Often it is used to suggest that older people are not capable of learning new things.

This assumption is simply not true!  Whatever your age, your brain can learn and master many new skills.

That’s why York County Community Foundation’s Hahn Home Fund for Embracing Aging was excited to award grants to Crispus Attucks and PennCares.  Both organizations are offering programs to help older people expand their knowledge.

Crispus Attucks Helps Older York Countians Open Local Businesses

Did you know that older adults start new businesses at higher rates than any other age group? This makes them the most entrepreneurial demographic and studies.

This was the case for Selena Generett, who was a recent guest on Embracing Aging’s online session series.  After a 25-year career in crunching numbers, she decided to step outside her comfort zone in a creatively big way.  Using the joy of helping family plan celebrations, she launched an encore career in event planning.

Selena was one of seven seniors who recently started a new small business in York County.  They developed their entrepreneur skills through participating in Crispus Attucks’ Senior Community Service Employment Program called Second Career Entrepreneurial Project.

To learn more about this grant program, the seven new businesses it helped launched, or to watch the interview with Selena, click on the links at the end of this article.

PennCares Helps Grandparents Raise Their Grandchildren 

Did you know a growing number of grandparents are taking on the responsibility of raising their grandchildren?  Although caring for a baby, child, or teen brings great rewards, it also requires adjustments.  It is a different generation and things aren’t the same from when they raised their own children.

This is the reason PennCares created a six-session program with the Embracing Aging grant.  The program provides grandparents with skills, tips, and resources for when their relationship with their grandchild goes from an afternoon playdate to providing kinship care.

PennCares’ Gerrie Reddinger recently appeared in Embracing Aging’s online session series to highlight some of the information outlined in the grant program.  In the interview, she shares the top things to consider or do when grandparents find themselves stepping into this role, including ways to practice self-care.

Scroll below for a link to view the recording of Embracing Aging’s interview with Gerrie.  In addition, check out the following resources Gerrie shared to help expand older adults’ skills in raising their grandchildren.

What New Trick Are You Learning?

The participants in these grant programs are debunking the stereotype that productivity, resourcefulness, and creativity decline with age.  People are capable of learning new things at any age.   Here are a few examples….

  • Momofuku Ando invented Ramen Cup Noodles at age 61
  • Grandma Moses started painting at age 76
  • Peter Roget invented the Thesaurus at age 73
  • Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa at age 75
  • Julia Child began her PBS cooking show at age 51

What is one thing you want to learn more about?

Now is the time to do so!  Let Embracing Aging know the new things you want to be taught.  We can help connect you to organizations that offer programs to expand your knowledge.  Remember, you are never too old to learn something new.

Click here to read entire Crispus Attucks grant story

Cathy Bollinger
Cathy Bollinger
Managing Director of Embracing Aging, York County Community Foundation

York County Community Foundation’s Embracing Aging improves how people experience aging by making people aware of ageism and its impact and helping organizations be more age friendly. Contact Cathy Bollinger, at cbollinger@yccf.org or 717-848-3733 to learn more about our free resources to disrupt ageism and to join our movement to usher in a new age in York County.