Older Americans Month 2024 – Celebrating the Power of Connection

Older Americans Month 2024 logo

Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads the nation’s observance of Older Americans Month (OAM). The 2024 theme is Powered by Connection, which recognizes the profound impact that meaningful relationships and social connections have on our health and well-being. Connectedness plays a vital role in supporting independence and aging in place by combatting isolation, loneliness and other issues.  

A recent article titled “Study Shows Older Adults Are Less Vulnerable After Moving into Senior Housing” found that that seniors are less vulnerable and frail after moving into a senior community.  Also, “Non-medical care and services like socialization, transportation, exercise, balanced nutrition, medication management and others have a positive impact on a resident’s health,” after moving into senior living.

Positive Outcomes

“We see time and again the positive outcomes of seniors moving to Franke Tobey Jones,” comments Michelle Olafson, Director of Residential Accommodations and Resident Relations.”  So often people don’t want to leave the large home in which they raised their family, but often times they become very lonely, sitting at home reading or watching TV for a good part of the day.  Their health may be declining, they are not eating properly, and they often start to get depressed.  But, after a few weeks at Franke Tobey Jones, whether they are living independently, in assisted living or memory care, they begin to blossom, creating friends, going to activities, eating properly and having company while they eat.  It’s an extremely positive atmosphere to thrive.  Furthermore, family members are often very surprised at how active and engaged their loved ones are after being at Franke Tobey Jones for just a short while.”

“We love the theme Powered by Connection,” says Patricia Moore, Therapeutic Activity Supervisor.  “Whether it’s our team members connecting every day with each resident one on one, or residents sharing activities, meals and outings, connection is what it’s all about.  I experience residents just lighting up with smiles, stories and enthusiasm when I’m with them or when they are with other residents.  Their outlook on life and overall health typically improves with these powerful and meaningful connections.”

Stay Connected

If you are becoming lonely living in your home, maybe it’s time to consider moving to a senior living community, or at least visiting a local senior center that typically offer all kinds of fun activities, lunch and a great place to make those meaningful connections.  Or, if you know someone, possibly a friend or family member, who is living alone or with a significant other, try to make it a point to visit them and create more positive connections with them.  May is a great month to start!

History of Older Americans Month

When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to “Older Americans Month.”

Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every President since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs and other such activities.

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