ACL believes that when older adults and communities stay connected, everyone wins. That’s why Connect is the first step in our three-part theme for Older Americans Month (OAM) 2019: Connect, Create, Contribute. Celebrated each May, OAM provides opportunities for people of all ages to connect and participate in a larger conversation about aging in America — a conversation that grows in importance as the number of older Americans continues to increase.
In 2000, 46 million Americans were over the age of 60. By 2020, that number is expected to reach more than 77 million. To prepare for future generations, we must invest today in the network of services that will support an aging population. One way we can do that is by connecting — connecting older adults with services, connecting community members with one another, and connecting research with programs that lead to innovative ideas for the future.
Connection takes many forms, from one-on-one contacts between neighbors to social and educational community programs. Communities can empower their older members by reaching out with information about essential services and personal enrichment opportunities. The Eldercare Locator, a public service of ACL’s Administration on Aging, is a great place to start. It can connect you to a variety of local services for older adults and their families.
Connection can also happen more informally by sitting down to an intergenerational meal or encouraging older adults to share their experiences through storytelling or other artistic endeavors. It can also mean just taking time to chat with family friends and neighbors. These informal connections improve quality of life and encourage important support systems for all of us.
For more resources to build connections in your community this month and every month, go to acl.gov/oam/2019/resources.
Tell us how you connect: #OAM19 #ConnectCreateContribute