For those who have never ventured to Western Pennsylvania, there is a wonderful “old” city there called Pittsburgh, named in honor of British statesman, William Pitt, by General John Forbes.
Founded in 1758, Pittsburgh has been known throughout the years for its steel mills, smoke-filled skyline and blue collar workers. Today, Pittsburgh has cleaned up the smokiness from the steel mills, beautified the skyline with new city structures like the South Side Works, PPG Plaza, and the US Steel Building and the old steel mill sites have been replaced with restaurants, shops and taverns like the Homestead WaterFront.
The dirt and soot of the steel mills have left, but some things will never leave Pittsburgh, like the Mt. Washington Inclines that are still running after more than 100 years, the beautiful three rivers (The Ohio, Monongahela and the Allegheny Rivers) that make up The Point at Point State Park, and many of those blue collar and old steel mill workers say they will never leave either.
Pittsburgh, ranked Most Livable City for a second time in 2007, is home to some 350,363 and Allegheny County’s population of 1,336,449. The median age within the city is 35.5; however, Pittsburgh houses many senior citizens. Within the city limits, 3.77% of the population is age 60-64, 7.92% is age 65-74; 6.39% of the population is age 75-84 and 2.15% of the population is 85 years and older! Yep! There are some marvelous things in Pittsburgh, and the older generation is definitely one of them!
In honor of our senior citizens, Pittsburgh is on a mission to take care of them……to keep them healthy and active. Pittsburgh is well known for its health care opportunities with UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, but there are also many services and activities to help the older people here to keep moving.
Assisted living facilities and Senior Housing Apartments offer many group activities for their residents. Events like bingo, cards, afternoon teas, and senior exercise, dance and tai chi classes allow the people to leave their apartments for a while and intermingle with others their age, make friends and to get involved in some physical movement.
Many fitness facilities in the area offer free memberships for those with a particular health insurance plan. It only takes a phone call to the insurance company to find out which gyms offers a deal. Mall walking, senior sporting events like golf and bowling are wonderful ways to stay fit, active and socially involved. Having a healthy attitude towards life makes each day a reward!
If there is a loved one in your life who is a senior, encourage them to get involved in some kind of group activity. It’s a great way to make friends and to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. It’s not enough to be physically active; mental health promotes a healthy way of life!
To find Senior services and activities in your area, you can call the Department of Aging and Human Services at (800) 344-4319, or check out the Senior Citizen’s Guide at www.seniorcitizensguide.com/pittsburgh/activities.htm, or www.pittsburgh.net/lifestyles.cfm, you’ll be glad you did.