The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) and Ageless Innovation have partnered with local aging and health services organizations in the Hudson Valley, North Country, and Capital Region to host “Reach Out and Play” events on November 16, 17 and 18. These intergenerational game events are part of a national initiative that is bringing together generations for game play in hundreds of locations statewide and many more nationally.
The NYSOFA and partner-hosted events are being held on November 16 at Active Rockland in West Nyack, November 17 at the Saratoga Senior Center in Saratoga Springs, and November 18 at Valley Ridge Manor in Malone. Location details are below.
Game play is fun for all generations. But the real wins are overcoming social isolation (a leading public health concern), encouraging engagement for older adults (which is good for physical and mental health), and getting generations together so they can learn from one another (and combat ageism in the process).
Participants at the events get to play recently released and re-imagined classic board games from Ageless Innovation in partnership with Hasbro Toys. These reimagined classics – including Trivial Pursuit, The Game of Life, and Three-in-One Scrabble – are designed to meet the needs and interest of older adults with age-inclusive components, such as easy-to-grasp game pieces, increased font size, and trivia and references that cater to players of all ages by selecting the generation a person would like to play.
Learn more about the games and other events occurring nationally at https://agelessinnovation.com/home/reachoutandplay/.
To encourage intergenerational connections, student groups from local districts have also been invited to the events and bring along a guest over the age of 60.
New York State Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen said, “Intergenerational connections can literally be a life saver. For older adults, we know that social isolation is associated with a range of health risks, potential cognitive decline, and mental health impacts. But the value is two-way: for younger generations, every interaction with an older adult is a chance to learn from mentors who have a wealth of past experiences and to become rooted in the wisdom of older generations. For these reasons, I am so proud to partner with Ageless Innovation and organizations statewide to make these connections happen – all through the power of play. I encourage all New Yorkers to follow this model and run with it. Please consider hosting an event at your home or community today so we can grow these opportunities and interactions far and wide."
Ageless Innovation Co-Founder and CEO Ted Fischer said, "Play is not a ‘nice to have,’ it is a basic human need, and the Reach Out and Play campaign creates a call-to-action to bring people together, showcasing the benefits and power of play to foster essential social connections and improve emotional health and well-being. Ageless Innovation is proud to partner with the New York State Office for the Aging and community organizations throughout the state who are coming together and tapping into these powerful opportunities for engagement across generations."
Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY) Executive Director Becky Preve said, "The Association on Aging is proud to partner with NYSOFA and Ageless Innovation to bring the joy of play to many generations of New Yorkers. Promoting multigenerational games combats ageism and promotes lifelong learning for community members and families."
Active Rockland CEO Richard Serrano said, "Through gameplay, we can help older adults overcome social isolation and encourage engagement. Active Rockland is committed to providing programs and services that help older adults stay active, engaged, and connected to their communities. We are proud to partner with NYSOFA and Ageless Innovation in hosting these important events."
Saratoga Senior Center Executive Director Lois Celeste said, “The Saratoga Senior Center is a hub of programs and activities that help older adults stay active while promoting better mental, social and physical health. By hosting Reach Out and Play in Saratoga, we are thrilled to have younger generations be a part of this community hub, alongside older adults, in an activity – game play – that naturally draws out the social beings in all of us, no matter what age group.”
Community Friendship Volunteer Coordinator Susan Schrader said, "The Community Friendship Volunteer Program appreciates the opportunity to build meaningful relationships between older adults and students coming together for the power of play. Our volunteer-run program was developed to fill a need and assist older adults in the North Country. The act of volunteering also proves to be beneficial for the volunteer, providing individuals with meaningful experiences and social interactions. These Reach Out and Play intergenerational game events fulfill a very similar purpose with a critical focus on social engagement across the generations."
NYSOFA and Partner Event Details
Reach Out and Play Rockland County
November 16, 2023
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
3296 Palisades Center Drive
3rd floor of Palisades Mall, right next to Burlington Coat Factory
West Nyack, NY 10994
Reach Out and Play Saratoga
November 17, 2023
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Saratoga Senior Center
290 West Ave., Suite 1
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 (attached to the YMCA)
Reach Out and Play Franklin County
November 18, 2023
Noon to 2 p.m.
Valley Ridge Manor
Malone, NY 12953
Find or Host a Game Event in Your Community
To find and register for a game event near you, visit aarp.org/agelessplay.
Individuals are also encouraged to host game events of their own. Ageless Innovation has developed a Community Event Toolkit with information on how to register your event and have it added to the aarp.org/agelessplay listings as well as tips for successfully hosting a Reach Out and Play Board Game Event. Individuals can contact [email protected] for more information.
Here are a few tips to host your own Reach Out and Play Board Game Event at home:
- Download the Host Your Own Reach Out and Play Event guide.
- Plan a day and time that works best.
- Invite friends or bring your whole family together.
- Have snacks handy to keep the fun going.
- Choose games that all generations would enjoy (consider the ages and abilities of your guests).
- Capture the fun with photos and share it on your social media pages. Tag @AgelessInnovation and use #ReachOutandPlay.