It’s a Great Time to Celebrate Older Americans!
The month of May marks a special time to acknowledge the many ways older adults contribute to our communities. May is Older Americans Month, a tradition that dates back to 1963. The Administration for Community Living, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, champions Older Americans Month.
The month of celebration has traditionally included a formal proclamation from every president since President Kennedy, as well as big and small acknowledgments all across the country.
The 2022 Theme for Older Americans Month Is “Age My Way”
This year’s celebration theme for Older Americans Month encourages a focus on aging in place. It’s a wonderful time to reflect on how those in your life can continue to live independently, as well as the many ways older adults can remain engaged in their communities as they age!
Celebrate How Your Loved Ones “Age My Way”
According to the World Health Organization, people are living longer. It may come as no surprise that today, people can expect to live well into their 60s and older. That means that when we reach what’s typically known as retirement age, we have decades of value to our communities behind us, and ahead of us.
During Older Americans Month, sit down with your loved ones and learn more about them. Let them teach you their recipes, tell you stories from their younger days, or chat about their accomplishments of past and present. Focus on what they’re most proud of, and celebrate it with them.
Older adults are valued mentors and civic leaders. Many still work and volunteer. They are, of course, also important family members and friends. Take a step back this month and note the ways you see the older adults in your life thriving.
Another great way to celebrate those you love this month is to engage in different activities with them, including those that promote physical health. It’s so important for older adults to remain physically active in order to remain independent. The term sedentarism is used to describe the habits related to an inactive lifestyle (sedentary activities), and it’s a common health concern for older adults. The National Institute on Aging reports that continuing to be physically active as we age helps reduce “major mobility disability.” That’s critical for continuing to “Age My Way.” If the older adult in your life has an exercise routine in place, offer to join them for a workout this month. Or, if your loved one is in need of more exercise in their life, encourage them to try activities that improve strength and balance, which contribute to a more active lifestyle.
Plan for How You Will “Age My Way”
Older Americans Month also can serve as a time of planning for those who are nearing their golden years. If you are in your 50s or 60s, consider the adjustments you can make this month to ensure that you are set up for your most independent future.
Engaging in your community is important at any age—through work, volunteering and civic participation. It’s additionally important to stay connected with family and friends. Your support system can help combat social isolation as well as the navigation of life’s more challenging times.
Let the month of May also be a time for you to assess home modifications you can make so aging in place is possible. You can plan for your future needs with Right at Home’s Aging-in-Place Guide.
Right at Home* helps older adults live independently as they age, whether in their homes, assisted living facilities or independent living facilities. Right at Home professional caregivers can provide companion care, such as light housekeeping and grocery shopping, and personal care, like grooming and dressing, to help seniors continue their independent lifestyle. The month of May is a great time to explore how Right at Home can help you continue to “Age My Way.” Use our location finder to find an office in your area.
*In-home care services vary by location.
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How to Be Better Prepared for Successful Aging
When it comes to successful aging, open communication among loved ones is beneficial. Sometimes, it can be challenging for family members to have conversations with an aging relative who may fear losing their independence, but taking the initiative to talk with them honestly and compassionately can strengthen the relationship for the seasons ahead.