October is a time to honor older adults. October 1st is International Day of Older Persons, established by the United Nations (UN), to raise public awareness about issues affecting the elderly. This year’s theme, Digital Equity for All Ages, focuses on the growth of the internet, mobile applications, and all tools to collect, store, analyze, and share information digitally . October 4th-10th is Active Aging Week, which recognizes aging and the benefits of active living at any age . Both holidays also showcase the capability of senior citizens as fully participating members of society.
While recognition of these holidays is important each year, they are particularly worthy of attention now as COVID-19 has significantly impacted upon older adults, and many continue to struggle from the effects. In addition to needing to safeguard from exposure to the illness, many were unable to see loved ones for extended periods, did not engage in any physical activities or participate in routine recreational outlets given the closures of senior centers, fitness centers, casinos, and other locations. And, for those who contributed their time and talents by serving as volunteers, these socialization options also came to an end.
The goal of Active Aging Week is to promote wellness initiatives and to get our bodies up and moving! It is also a message to those ages 50 and older to take advantage of all that life has to offer . Now that senior centers, casinos, movie theaters and other venues in Florida have reopened, though there are a significant percentage of older adults who are reluctant to return, there are a fair number who are resuming these activities. However, some have identified new avenues of entertainment during the pandemic, including online forms of gambling. The proliferation of online gambling is also presenting difficulties among a segment of the senior population and others. The UN’s theme is on point, because the expansion of these technologies and the introduction of cryptocurrencies on gambling platforms present risks that require oversight and consumer protections.
Finally, the month of October is Financial Planning Month, so it’s crucial to note that when gambling becomes a problem in the latter stages of life, it can present devastating consequences. Therefore, while gambling is a form of entertainment in which most can partake without difficulty, it’s imperative to adhere to responsible gambling guidelines, while understanding how to budget and maintain financial health.
Responsible Gambling and Finances
When engaging in any form of wagering, adhering to time and money limits in advance of play is essential, as is not gambling with credit or money you cannot afford to lose. Some general budget and financial health tips follow:
- Prepare a realistic budget based upon your expenses and income and stick to it.
- Pay off debts.
- Pay bills on time to avoid late fees and penalties.
- Each month, set aside an amount of money for an emergency fund.
- Sell/donate items you no longer use and save funds or use as taxable qualified deductions.
- Consult a financial planner to review your finances and prepare a plan that works for you.
If you or someone you care about needs assistance for a gambling problem, call the FCCG’s 24-hour Confidential and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine at 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), by text (321-978-0555), email (email@example.com), live chat (gamblinghelp.org), via the 888-ADMIT-IT App (https://landing.appypie.com/888-admit-it), or on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
 United Nations.“Digital Equity for All Ages”. 2021, www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/2021/02/online-global-dialogue-on-digital-inclusion-for-all
 National Today.“Active Aging Week-October 4-10, 2021”. 2021, nationaltoday.com/active-aging-week