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WKU Students Work to Make Bowling Green more Age Friendly

wku black borderBOWLING GREEN, Ky. (11/12/13) - As part of the Bowling Green Age Friendly Cities Project, WKU students have worked with a group of seniors to solve an issue they had identified – a lack of community connections and communications about age friendly events.

Hannah Ruggles of Lexington, a Gerontology minor and WKU Honors College student, and WKU graduate students Darla Hayden of Henderson and Haley Canary of Bowling Green, helped hand out free Senior Events Calendars at the Kroger on the U.S. 31W Bypass. Between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Nov. 6, the group that included 10 seniors and students from the Honors Introduction to the Aging Experience class distributed 800 copies of the calendar.

“This truly is an initiative that was born out of community conversations,” said Dr. Dana Burr Bradley, director of WKU’s Center for Aging. “While there are many websites that list events for seniors, they didn’t feel the information was available in a format that was age friendly.”

The seniors had identified Kroger, which hosts a popular First Wednesday of the Month senior discount day, as the best place to distribute the calendar. (Their efforts were highlighted on WBKO that evening.)

After picking up a calendar, one senior told the volunteers “there is no excuse for staying home anymore. There is so much to do here in Bowling Green.”

The project is part of the World Health Organization’s Age Friendly Cities and Communities Initiative. In 2012, Bowling Green became one of the first seven cities in the United States – and the only city in south – to become a member of the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. The network has 105 members in 19 countries.

WKU’s Center for Aging, the City of Bowling Green’s Neighborhood Division and AARP Kentucky are the convening organizations for the project.

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