ATLANTA (WAOK)- Older Atlantans Month kicked off Monday, May 6, at Atlanta City Hall ushering a month long celebration to honor the senior citizens of Atlanta. Mayor Kasim Reed was on hand to welcome hundreds of seniors with initiatives and services targeted to elderly residents at the annual Senior Fair.

According to a release from the city, the national theme for Older Americans Month 2013, “Unleash the Power of Age,” emphasizes the important role of older adults. Older Americans Month celebrations acknowledge the value that older adults continue to bring to communities by applauding the recent achievements of seniors and inviting them to share the activities they do to stay young and healthy. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs and other activities.

Since 2010, the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services has partnered with social service agencies, religious institutions, and businesses including: Hands on Atlanta, AARP, Meals on Wheels and the Medicare Diabetes Project to promote support services and educational programs that advocate for a higher quality of life for senior citizens in the city of Atlanta.

Other events and services planned for seniors include:

• The Senior Fun, Health, and Fitness Pilot Program at the Adamsville Recreation Center. The health and wellness program brings over 75 seniors together every Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Free weekly activities include chair exercises, line dancing, healthy cooking demonstrations, bingo, and guest speakers on diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke prevention and care.

• Launched in 2011, the Senior Link initiative identifies seniors and adults with disabilities living in poor conditions and connects them with social service agencies that are able to meet their long-term needs.

• In partnership with the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and SCANA Energy, the Mayor’s Office provides 1,000 cooling fans to elderly residents every year.

• During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons, the Office of Constituent Services partners with community organizations to distribute turkeys and food to vulnerable seniors and grandparents who are raising grandchildren.

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