May is Older Americans Month
Every May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads the nation’s observance of Older Americans Month (OAM). In 2022, ACL is focusing on aging in place – how older adults can plan to stay in their homes and live independently in their communities for as long as possible. The 2022 theme is Age My Way, an opportunity for all of us to explore the many ways older adults can remain in and be involved with their communities.
The ACL offers tips for great community engagement activities during Older Americans Month. In-person events, if possible, can create the opportunities to share stories and lived experience with students in the local schools with interviews, game nights, musical events, art projects and beautification activities. With greater access to video events, online conversations, storytelling and sharing are ways to participate with older adults and young people learning together.
Aging in place safely is the mission of Age Safe America, all year long! These last two difficult years have reinforced the desire to participate in the community again and to become more active in the decisions and actions to age in place independently. Older adults are making important choices and have had the wake-up call to become more proactive to secure their own future opportunities. Remaining independent in our homes, whatever form the home may take, is vital for successful aging in place.
A great place to start is a home safety assessment. After all, as we have spent so much more time in our homes, we tend not “to see” the problem areas as clearly. An assessment is a way to identify our opportunities to make the changes that will promote our safety at home. Simply tidying up, decluttering paths in the house and adding a light can make it safer and more inviting! Again, as we can visit and entertain more, making the house easier to visit can be the addition of a handrail by the front steps or a small transition ramp to be able to use the sliding door to a patio.
Each change to the house, each new connection, each renewed friendship and community connection is a celebration of Older Americans Month as it prepares us to enjoy and enhance our lives and those around us!