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Older adults in Leavenworth County face fears and bond through bucket list adventures

Carol Page and Carolyn Anderson prepare to launch kayaks in to Lake Perry in Kansas. Through Leavenworth County's Council on Aging older adults take part in bucket list adventure series trips.
Tracy Petersen
Carol Page and Carolyn Anderson prepare to launch kayaks at Lake Perry in Kansas as part of the Leavenworth County Council on Aging's bucket list adventure series.

Leavenworth County's Council on Aging, which provides services and programs for older adults, recently established a bucket list for aging adults. People 50 years and older are saddling up for adventures that take them high above Kansas City, zipping through treetops and out on the open water.

A rebranding effort by Leavenworth County's Council on Aging is reminding older adults to "live well, age well." That includes maintaining a sense of adventure.

The Council on Aging provides services and programs such as Meals on Wheels, tax preparation and transportation services for qualifying adults. Since the implementation of BLAST, or bucket list adventure series trips, the agency's leisure and learning program has seen a notable increase in participation.

"It's not just bingo and crocheting and ukuleles for everyone," said Connie Harmon, director of Leavenworth County's Council on Aging. "We have some thrill seekers that want to hang out with us, and so, for them it's ziplining and mystery breakfast trips and snow tubing."

Friendships are created as some of the adults face their fears.

"I think these kinds of activities, too, bond people together," Harmon said. "There's a little bit of risk involved. And, you know, you got to get up your courage to go. I think there's that camaraderie of doing it together and then there's a shared memory."

  • Connie Harmon, director, Leavenworth County's Council on Aging
  • Carolyn Anderson, participant, Leavenworth County's Council on Aging
  • Carol Page, participant, Leavenworth County's Council on Aging
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