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Healthy Ageing Challenge: Community Champion Update #3

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Annie Lin is our current volunteer Challenge Community Champion. You'll see her popping up across the Healthy Ageing Challenge with handy tips and words of encouragement – and posting community updates here like a true champion!


For this week's Healthy Ageing Challenge update, I sought to involve new people (those not already in the OpenIDEO community) to reflect on the meaning of "healthy aging." At the same time, I wanted to further draw out the visual aspects of this highly personal and relatable theme. To that end, I invited some friends and strangers to send me one or a few images that signify "healthy aging" to them — however they choose to interpret it. Most people sent me photos they took themselves, and a couple of people sent me images they came across that jumped out at them. 
A few of the people who responded most enthusiastically to this activity are seniors  themselves. They were eager to share their thoughts and feelings on what it means to them to age healthily, and photos were a highly emotional and effective way for them to express those feelings because they capture specific moments in life instead of simply describing what life is like. One elderly person who sent me images told me that even though she is becoming more and more forgetful by the day, and can no longer participate in rigorous physical exercises, she thinks she is living the ideal life for someone her age (she participates actively in a community in Mexico; owns three dogs, two cats, and one horse; grows fruits and flowers; swims regularly; and climbs Mayan pyramids). To her, sharing photos she's taken throughout the past few years is a great way to tell her active retirement story to others (she's lost more than 50 pounds of weight since retirement!).
Below are ten of the images I received.  They fit in really well with some of the themes emerging from the Inspiration phase — for example the importance of family, interacting with younger generations, socializing with friends, staying physically and mentally active, and being open to new experiences
I'd highly recommend for the OpenIDEO community to also explore the more visual aspects of the "healthy aging" theme, as well as have in-depth conversations with elders in your life about their personal experiences!
Celebratory dance (photo by Carla Gilmore).
Afghan elders
Smiling elders (photo by AfghanistanMatters).
Rock band
Rock band (photo by Dru Kelly).
Preparing dinner (photo by Annie Lin).
It's okay to lick your plate (photo by Sean Dreilinger).
Birthday party (photo by Tatyana Vashchenko).
Grandma, grandson (photo by Luis Campos).
Fun in the water (photo by Carla Gilmore).

Riding on the beach (photo by Carla Gilmore).
Somebody has a sense of humor... (submitted by Ilana Segall).
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Community Champions , Healthy Ageing Challenge


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