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Reckoning With Our Senior Population



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In a town where 65 cents of every tax payer dollar supports education in Newtown, we can assume there are plenty of young families with children in school, and many are our readers. The Newtown Bee gives unparalleled coverage to our seven public schools as well as the private schools that educate our youth.

Our sports and education sections are widely read, and with the focus mainly on school sports during a great part of the year, we recognize that young families are among our readers.

We know that Parks & Recreation programs and youth-oriented library programs are stories that are popular, as well.

So it is no surprise that we have a following of readers under age 45.

What we also know, though, is that the senior population in Newtown is on the rise, and that many of those senior citizens are quite active. Numerous clubs and organizations are populated by volunteers who are 55-plus. The uptick in membership at the Newtown Senior Center, and new facility appealing to a broader section of that population, suggests that there is a senior population in Newtown with which to be reckoned.

So, we are “reckoning” with that information. While we acknowledge many of our subscribers are probably 45 and younger and that the greatest percentage of our online readers are in the young to middle age groups, we are also honored among our thousands of subscribers to have more than 200 who have been with us for 25 years or longer, and others in the 55-plus age group. Many more stop by our 5 Church Hill Road office each Thursday afternoon and Friday to fetch a copy of the paper.

We work to make The Newtown Bee as appealing to our older readers as it is to our more youthful readers, with articles that address issues and programs of interest to those who are aging — and aging in place — in Newtown. Recent articles addressing transportation and gardening focus on areas that we hope appeal to Newtown’s senior population. The Health page frequently highlights concerns of older readers and ways to remain healthy, no matter one’s age. We have been pleased to have the participation of several older residents in the Snapshot profile and to feature efforts of Friends of Newtown Seniors.

One thing we have observed, over the years, is that this is also a humble population. Encouraging seniors to share their experiences takes a bit more effort on our part. Those well-lived lives can inspire others; we will continue to feature articles that promote the active older population that calls Newtown home. We are open to story suggestions at editor@thebee.com or by calling 203-426-3141, asking for Nancy.

Every age group adds value to the community: the new ideas and energy of the youngest members, the steadiness of those leaning toward middle age, or the wise experience of our oldest citizens. Sharing the stories of these diverse groups puts the focus on the special people of Newtown. The tales of our town are those who give heart to Newtown. Thank you for your input.

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