Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb is kicking off the new year with a community forum to discuss aging in the village.

“Aging in Oak Park – the Next 50 Years” will feature Lydia Manning, PhD, associate professor of Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago Center on Gerontology, and former Oak Park trustee and Wednesday Journal columnist Marc Blesoff. The forum is set for 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 10 in the Veteran’s Room of Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St.

“During my four-plus years as mayor, I have heard from a number of older citizens about the challenges of aging, such as continuing to maintain a home in Oak Park,” Abu-Taleb said in a press release. “This forum is an opportunity for all our citizens to explore and discuss the challenges – and the opportunities – for our Oak Park elders.”

Manning said in the press release that the center has seen a “significant increase” in older people who want to remain actively engaged in the community, adding that local leaders should “pay attention to the voices and experiences of older adults and address the challenges related to later life, including home ownership.”

“Leaders need to create pathways for meaningful and purposeful social engagement,” Manning said.

Blesoff, who writes the “Conscious Aging” column for Wednesday Journal, said the forum can help toward the goal of changing the mindset of “old is bad” to “old is beautiful.”

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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