Older Americans Month: Promoting importance of enjoying independence and rewards of growing older

Older Americans Month

By Roni Falck • Senior Services Program Manager

Established in 1963, Older Americans Month (OAM) is celebrated every May. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), OAM is a time for us to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of older Americans, highlight important trends, and strengthen our commitment to honoring our older community members.

This year’s theme, Aging Unbound, offers an opportunity to explore a wide range of aging experiences and to promote the importance of enjoying independence and fulfillment by paving our own paths as we age.

This May, join us as we recognize the 60th anniversary of OAM and challenge the narrative on aging. Here are some ways we can all participate in Aging Unbound:

  • Embrace the opportunity to change. Find a new passion, go on an adventure, and push boundaries by not letting age define your limits. Invite creativity and purpose into your life by trying new activities in your community to bring in more growth, joy, and energy. 
  • Explore the rewards of growing older. With age comes knowledge, which provides insight and confidence to understand and experience the world more deeply. Continue to grow that knowledge through reading, listening, classes, and creative activities.
  • Stay engaged in your community. Everyone benefits when everyone is connected and involved. Stay active by volunteering, working, mentoring, participating in social clubs, and taking part in activities at your local senior center or elsewhere in the community.
  • Form relationships. As an essential ingredient of well-being, relationships can enhance your quality of life by introducing new ideas and unique perspectives. Invest time with people to discover deeper connections with family, friends, and community members.

This year, JFCS is excited to celebrate OAM with our partners in the aging community. JFCS offers numerous opportunities for older adults to access services and maintain connection. Services focus on ways to support an individual to maintain independent living. One of the key factors for healthy aging is preventing isolation and maintaining social connections. Active seniors can serve as a Senior Companion or Outreach Visitor for a homebound or isolated senior. These longstanding programs have fostered strong connections, and volunteers often share that they benefit more than the people they are visiting.

Diverse communities are strong communities. We all do best when we feel a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives; when we know that people are relying on us and expecting us to show up. Ensuring that older adults remain involved and included in our communities for as long as possible benefits everyone. If you are a senior and are looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity to connect, please contact Dana Shapiro, Community and Volunteer Engagement Manager, at 952-417-2112 or dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org.

Wishing you all a very happy Older Adults Month, where we can celebrate seniors, their wisdom, experience and contributions to our community.

For more information, visit the official OAM website and join the conversation using #OlderAmericansMonth.