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Engage at Every Age: May is National Older Americans Month

Senior care providers encourage older adults to partake in activities that enrich physical, mental, and emotional well-being

Remaining physically and mentally active is one of the best ways to keep ourselves feeling healthy and happy as we age. Every May, the Administration on Aging leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month (OMA). This annual observance is a wonderful time to reaffirm the importance of senior care, the health and happiness of the seniors in our lives, and the difference older adults make in our communities.

The 2018 Older Americans Month theme is ‘Engage at Every Age’ which emphasizes that adults are never too old (or young!) to participate in enriching activities, lead community events, or utilize health resources that can improve their quality of life. There are many ways for older adults to continue to participate in their communities in meaningful ways that are beneficial to their physical, mental, and emotional wellness.

Facts & Figures: Supporting Our Seniors

According to the 2017 Profile of Older Americans, one in seven Americans are 65 or older. By 2020, this growing segment of our population will exceed 56 million people. This essential and diverse group of adults are loved family members, skilled professionals, wise educators, adventurous explorers, and honored veterans. Older Americans connect our younger population to history and can help guide our future. [Source]

Importance of Senior Care and Health: Did you know that nearly 80% of older Americans have at least one chronic health condition? Americans are living longer and although aging and illness don’t always go hand-in-hand, healthy lifestyle choices are important to happy aging. Healthy living helps to control weight gain, strengthens muscles, improved balance to reduce the risk of falls, decreases the risk of depression, and offers opportunities to be social and have fun!

For older adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia, senior care and health are important for managing cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Research has shown that for older adults with dementia, spending between 10 and 15 minutes of activity outdoors each day may improve health significantly. If you’re looking for activities for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s, read our blog post “Enjoying the Outdoors: Spring Activities for Seniors with Dementia” for outings modified to meet the abilities of seniors with dementia.

Participate in Older Americans Month

Being engaged at any age can mean a variety of things. For some older adults, this means volunteering, finding a part-time job, becoming a mentor, or focusing on personal health and wellness. For seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia, engaging may mean learning how to manage symptoms, participating in clinical studies, joining support groups, or planning for future senior care needs. Whatever again looks like for your unique situation, there are ways to stay active, healthy, and healthy!

If you are wanting to support and recognize a senior loved one this May, consider activities you can do together. Volunteering can lead to improved physical and mental health and new relationships and making a visible difference in your community can provide a greater sense of purpose. With many ways to get involved, it’s easy to find an opportunity that involves both your interests and skills. Need inspiration? Visit nationalservice.gov/serve for more tips and ideas

Sharing in a senior loved one’s stories and wisdom can be a fun, less structured way to honor Older Americans Month. Call or visit with a senior relative just to chat and catch up. They will appreciate your company and you can learn from their experiences or share a good laugh. Simply staying involved in your loved one’s senior care and wellness shows that you support and value them at every age.

Use the materials, activities, and resources at the Older Americans Month website to promote and celebrate #OAM18!

Additional Resources
>> Life Enrichment Activities for Seniors with Alzheimer’s
>> Administration for Community Living
>> U.S Department of Health & Human Services

For more information about memory care services provided by ComfortCare Homes, please call our office at (316) 444-0532.

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