Older Americans Month has been celebrated in May since 1963 to recognize older Americans’ contributions to our society. This year’s theme is, “Older Americans: Connecting the Community,” recognizing how older adults build our communities as well as preserve them for future generations. It also acknowledges how many older Americans volunteer in their communities to help others. I think this is particularly true at Keiro where many volunteers are in their late 60s to 70s.
Keiro has more than 800 registered volunteers, and many are older adults. They volunteer at Keiro facilities, walking with residents, helping with activities, and more. Some volunteers are out in the community promoting genki living by teaching classes and assisting at events. They are all connecting people in our community to others and to resources to help people approach aging with confidence.
While working closely with volunteers, I was inspired by their volunteerism and learned what it means to preserve our community. We preserve our community by thanking our older adults for what they have done for us and our community and demonstrating such appreciation by volunteering and mentoring younger generations.
This month, I’d like to particularly thank my grandma, who passed away last summer, for everything she has done for me – teaching me how to make osechi, supporting my education, and comforting me when I needed it. I would also like to pass these things on to younger members of my family.
The U.S. Administration on Aging is sponsoring two exciting activities in observance of Older Americans Month 2011, a video challenge and a video game tournament. We welcome and encourage the participation of seniors and community members across the country.
For more information about Older Americans Month, visit the U.S. Administration on Aging.