BRATTLEBORO -- When a report came out earlier this month that 72 was the new 30, it was hardly news to Brattleboro Recreation and Parks Department Assistant Director Jessy Cudworth.
Cudworth oversees the town's senior center and when the National Academy of Sciences said that people around the world are living longer and staying healthy and active well into their 70s, Cudworth said it affirmed what she has been seeing while engaging with Brattleboro seniors.
"People are staying healthy and active well into their 70s. They are not ready to retire," she said. "The Senior Center recognizes that we want them to know that we are not just sitting around playing bingo here."
On Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Brattleboro Senior Center at 207 Main Street, there will be a Senior Health Expo that Cudworth says will be focused on nutrition, health care, and healthy living.
The Brattleboro Food Co-op is preparing a special meal and Cudworth said she wants the event to be a way for people to come learn about the senior center.
The expo is free and lunch is served by donation.
The National Academy of Sciences report, which was published on Oct. 15, found that significant reductions in human mortality have occurred over just four generations and that mortality at younger ages is now 200 times lower than that of previous generations.
Cudworth says it is interesting to look at a report like the one that
She also said today's seniors have interests in physical activities that the senior center is trying to adopt into its expanding programs. Over the past few years Cudworth has seen a growing interest in senior softball, ping pong, wiffle ball and line dancing.
Seniors are driving more, so they are not bound by transportation limitations, she said, and they are engaged in their community and world.
"We have knitting classes and bridge, but we want people to come down and see what else is going on here," she said. "People come by and are surprised about the people who are here and the options we have."
At the Health Expo on Wednesday area doctors and nutritionists will give talks on diet and disease prevention, and there will be more than 20 vendors with information.
There will also be health screenings and information on alternative health care.
Cudworth says the senior center is always ready to start new programs when there is interest and the Health Expo is a good opportunity for people to come down and see the facility who might never have considered checking in.
"We are trying to reach out to what we are calling the younger seniors," Cudworth said. "We have a lot of different programs for a lot of different ages and we want to get new people in here."
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802-254-2311 ext. 279.