Older Americans Month is celebrated each May to honor and recognize older Americans for the contributions they make to our families, communities and society. Since 1963, it has been a proud tradition across the nation to celebrate and acknowledge these efforts.
This year’s theme, “Never Too Old to Play!,” puts a spotlight on the important role older adults play in sharing their experience, wisdom, and understanding, and passing on that knowledge to other generations in a variety of significant ways. It also encourages older Americans to stay engaged, active and involved in their own lives and in their communities. This year’s celebrations will recognize the value that older adults continue to bring to our communities through spirited participation in social and faith groups, service organizations and other activities.
As a vast amount of baby-boomers reach retirement age, communities have increased their efforts to provide meaningful opportunities for older adults many of whom remain physically and socially active through their 80s and beyond. The Grundy County Health Department provides opportunities to enrich citizens by emphasizing the value of including elders in public and family life, creating opportunities for older Americans to interact with people of different generations and providing services, technologies and support systems that allow older adults to participate in social activities in the community.
Lifelong participation in social, creative and physical activities has proven health benefits, including retaining mobility, muscle mass, and cognitive abilities. But older adults are not the only ones who benefit from their engagement in community life.
Recent studies have shown their interactions with family, friends, and neighbors across generations enrich the lives of everyone involved. Young people who have significant relationships with a grandparent or elder report that these relationships helped shape their values, goals, and life choices and gave them a sense of identity and roots.
The Grundy County Health Department is joining in the national celebration of Older Americans Month 2012 with activities and events to promote intergenerational engagement and recreation.
Contact Chris Donley, Senior Programs Director, at (815) 941-3144 to find more about the health department’s yearlong activities and support groups, and how you can support Older Americans Month.