Since 1976, May has been designated as Older Americans Month, a national celebration of seniors lead by the Administration for Community Living. Whether you’re an active 55+ adult or are a loved one who has a beloved mom, grandma, dad, grandfather, great grandparent, etc., there are many ways to celebrate this special period of time.
Senior living communities that actively engage with their residents – whether it’s through group outings, exercise classes, ice cream socials, bible studies, arts and crafts activities and so many other events – are strong, and this designated month is all about reaffirming the belief that older adults play a major role in all of our lives.
The theme for this year’s Older Americans Month is Connect, Create, Contribute, and we have you covered when it comes to all of these pillars.
“Connect” focuses on reaching out, relating to and networking with family and friends. Whether you’re a senior wishing to grow closer to the younger generations or you’re a grandchild that would love to get to know your grandparent better, building a stronger relationship is a great way to connect. Intergenerational relationships are easy to build and grow, but they require a bit of effort on both sides. Once you build one, both parties will recognize the value and form a stronger appreciation for the other.
Another way seniors and senior friends can connect is through technology. Through the internet, you can video chat, share photos and even start new hobbies. With this easy-to-follow tutorial, a tech/internet novice can connect with the World Wide Web. The internet can also help seniors connect with the world around them. This lets them experience more without having to leave their home.
“Create” focuses on the concept of engaging in activates that promote learning and well-being. From fine-tuning eating habits to learning new skills, these activities can help support mental and physical health in seniors. With mental exercises and stimulation, seniors can help prevent memory loss and strengthen their minds. Board games and puzzles are an ideal way to challenge your brain. Music therapy and playing instruments can also exercise the brain in a similar way.
Seniors – and even the younger generation – should take time to work on their physical health. According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 80% of older adults suffer from chronic issues and diseases, but a healthy diet and an active lifestyle can help counter these issues. Look into developing healthy habits, reviewing your current diet plan and joining exercise activities. Many of our senior living communities offer exercise classes that you can get involved in. Or, you might choose to work out on your own with these tips for seniors with limited mobility and chronic ailments or those who want to maintain their strength, flexibility and balance.
It may seem inconsequential, but doing more to promote positive self-image also helps create a more positive mindset and well-being. That’s why seniors might consider skincare habits and makeup techniques to make themselves feel good, look good and help break the stereotype of a “senior.”
Whether it’s through their time, talent or life experiences, seniors can “contribute” to society around them. For some, this could mean volunteering your time and resources to help others at local animal shelters, organizations that help the community and even groups that offer foster grandparenting for today’s youth. Donating and volunteering positively affect the community where you live and can play a role in how long you live. Who knows, maybe volunteering during Older Americans Month may turn into a monthly endeavor.
There really isn’t a wrong way to celebrate Older Americans Month. Visit the Capital Senior Living website, find your community, then click on “Community Life” to see what events are happening in your Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care community.
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