Every May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads the celebration of Older Americans Month. This year’s theme focuses on how older adults can age in their communities, living independently for as long as possible and participating in ways they choose.
While Age My Way will look different for each person, here are common things everyone can consider:
- Planning: Think about what you will need and want in the future, from home and community-based services to community activities that interest you.
- Engagement: Remain involved and contribute to your community through work, volunteer, and/or civic participation opportunities.
- Access: Make home improvements and modifications, use assistive technologies, and customize supports to help you better age in place.
- Connection: Maintain social activities and relationships to combat social isolation and stay connected to your community.
This year, JABA has been excited to celebrate OAM with our partners in the aging community and through the Charlottesville Area Alliance, a group of organizations supporting efforts to make ours a more age-friendly community.
Diverse communities are strong communities. Ensuring that older adults remain involved and included in our communities for as long as possible benefits everyone.
It is important to also acknowledge the challenges associated with aging, and isolation, and that May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. We know that mental health issues occur at all ages, so it is natural that some will age with mental health issues. We also know that isolation can have a negative impact on emotional health. Chronic pain can occur more frequently in older adults, and this can be accompanied by use of opiods. Our Chronic Pain Self Management Education workshops provide support through an evidence-based program. We also offer assistance through our Aging Services Coordinators to identify a variety of resources in the community. And we combat isolation through our At Home with JABA program, our Community Senior Centers, and our Adult Care Centers.
Please join JABA in strengthening our community by engaging with us on social media and across the web.