by Melissa Chichester
Every year, the Administration for Community Living observes Older Americans Month with a new theme. This year’s theme is “Connect, Create, Contribute.” What does this mean? It encourages older adults to continue being actively involved in their communities, because their contributions matter and create stronger, more united neighborhoods. What are you waiting for? Let’s do it!
A big part of being connected in the community is having access to resources to stay healthy and vibrant throughout your life. If you aren’t yet an older adult, consider what you want your life to look like when you are one. What kind of resources will you need? There are many ways to stay connected. Take the time to plan an activity night for people of all ages, like playing a game or volunteering. Another great way to connect is to take the time to document someone’s life story or host a storytelling event. What better way to learn about your neighbors?
Plan events specifically for older adults. Host a workshop on senior issues and invite people to attend. These issues can include segments on nutrition, personal care, safety, retirement, or even starting a new career. Computer classes for older adults are also helpful. Teach people how to use social media platforms, or how to research genealogy online. Show older adults that they can connect with each other through online senior forums dedicated to people with similar interests.
Giving back to the senior community makes for a better place to live. Host a fundraiser for someone in need, or to do good for others. Beginning a 5K is a great way to get all kinds of people to come out in support of issues that impact older adults or individual people. Consider the Honor Flight Network that flies veterans out to Washington, D.C., to honor their service and provide closure. Participate in a Habitat for Humanity build to help a senior homeowner move into their dream home.
For more ideas on getting involved with Older Americans Month, click here.