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Community corner: Older Americans Month

By Sarah Cagney

May is Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate older adults, their stories, and the contributions they have made throughout their lifetimes. Older adults play vital, positive roles in our communities – as family members, friends, volunteers, and more.

Just as every person is unique, so too are how they age and how they choose to do it – and there is no “right” way. That’s why the theme for Older Americans Month (OAM) 2022 is Age My Way.

This special recognition provides an opportunity for our community to explore the many ways older adults can remain in their own home and be involved with their communities. By engaging and supporting all community members, we recognize that older adults play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives. Communities that encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger!

This year, South County Community Services is excited to celebrate OAM with our partners in the aging community. We are excited to build and promote partnerships with aging services networks. They play a critical role to ensure individuals have information available to access community resources for services, enabling all older adults to age with dignity in a safe environment. Many healthy aging programs exist that play a role in aging in place (emphasizing that what each person needs and prefers is unique). Collectively, we offer support to older adults and their caregivers in areas such as nutrition, social and emotional support, falls prevention, transportation, home safety, job training, and benefits enrollment.

Please join South County in strengthening our community and embrace aging by celebrating the ways in which older adults keep our communities vibrant!

Following are some ways you can help observe Older Americans Month:

Reach out to an older person (a friend, family member, neighbor, or colleague) and spend a couple minutes asking about their lives and experiences. If you can connect on a periodic basis, even better.

Help your older parents write their story or interview them for a video. Their stories and contributions help support and inspire, plus it’s a great way to learn things about your parents that you probably never knew and will become a legacy you will cherish forever!

Spend the day doing something meaningful with an older relative – choose a favorite childhood food item that they used to cook and make it together, spend the day watching movies, help organize their boxes of photos, use Google Maps or Google Earth to visit their old neighborhoods or their hometown – and make new memories while working together.

Help older adults connect with South County Community Services (649-2901) if they have questions about aging, need to ask about resources, or if they want to find opportunities to connect with others.

Learn more about OAM and discover additional ways you can celebrate the older adults in our community by visiting https://acl.gov/

Happy Older Americans Month to all!

Sarah Cagney is the Senior Outreach Coordinator for South County Community Services. She has a special place in her heart for helping seniors learn about aging resources and navigate assistance. She can be reached at 649-2901 ext. 7.

For more information on South County Community Services, please check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/southcountycs or visit our website.

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