Russell Burns, Arizona Daily Star

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Arizona Daily Star, Guest Opinion

(May 24, 2017) May is Older Americans Month as designated by the federal government’s Administration for Community Living and through proclamation by President Trump. This year’s theme, Age Out Loud, should remind everyone that elders hold the power to inspire and teach if we take the time to listen.

I have spent the bulk of my career working with the elder population, and as incoming president of the board of trustees of St. Luke’s Home, I have the privilege of working both with, and on behalf of, elders.

At St. Luke’s Home, we have former teachers, ministers, nurses and veterans who have reached the last one-third of their lives with little income but retaining a strong passion for life. St. Luke’s provides a community for those who fall in between: not sick enough for state assistance; not wealthy enough for private care; not well enough to live alone. For these individuals, not having to worry about adequate care, a warm bed or three healthy meals a day means they can continue to age out loud and keep their dreams alive.

Like Grace. You can tell at first meeting that she is an artist. From the soft rouge on her cheeks to the brightly colored skirts and blouses she wears each day, it is obvious that art lights her up. She has been active in the We Love Art workshops that St. Luke’s offers in partnership with the UA, and her works were recently shown at the UA Museum of Art as part of the “Connecting Generations: Art From the Elders of St. Luke’s Home” exhibit.

We have the opportunity this month and every day of the year. Allow yourself to be inspired.