Older Americans Month 2019: Connect, Create, Contribute

By: 
Press Staff Writer

        Older Ohioans’ diversity, values, insight, and experiences throughout their lives have helped to shape their communities.
        When empowered to connect with friends and families, as well as to local services and resources, older adults continue to thrive. When they are able to create and contribute to their neighbors, economy, and society, our state is better for it.
        The Ohio Department of Aging invites Ohioans to join in celebrating the state’s older residents in May during Older Americans Month. The 2019 theme for Older Americans Month is “Connect, Create, Contribute.”
        Connect
        When they are able to connect with friends and family, older adults continue to play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods and the lives of their neighbors. Staying connected and involved also reduces isolation, prevents abuse and neglect, and leads to better emotional and physical health. Communities are stronger when they support and recognize the importance of including older adults in everything they do.
        The Ohio Department of Aging and Ohio’s aging network provide services, supports, and resources that help older adults remain connected to the people and the things they value. These services include nutrition programs, health and wellness programs, caregiver support, community-based long-term care, and advocacy. Area agencies on aging, senior centers, local senior levies, and other resources help meet our older adult’s needs in their homes and communities. This helps them stay connected longer, which benefits them and everyone around them.
        Find services where you live – Connect with area agencies on aging, long-term care ombudsman programs, senior centers, employment providers, and others to learn about and access services and resources in your community. Visit aging.ohio.gov/FindServices.
        Safe at home – Staying connected starts with being safe in your home and community. Visit aging.ohio.gov/safeathome.
        Driver safety and transportation options – Being able to get around in your community is a critical part of staying connected and remaining independent and healthy. Visit aging.ohio.gov/transportation.
        Golden Buckeye Program - The nation's first public-private partnership to strengthen older Ohioans' buying power has been building community connections since 1976. Visit aging.ohio.gov/GoldenBuckeye.
        Home- and community-based services and supports – Access programs to help eligible older Ohioans access the care they need in the settings they prefer. Visit aging.ohio.gov/HomeCommunityCare.
        Caregiver support - People who recognize themselves as caregivers are more proactive, engaged and confident, and provide better care longer. Visit aging.ohio.gov/caregiversupport.
        Create
        Engage in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment. Older Ohioans have spent their lifetimes adding to the creative fabric of their communities through art, service and ideas. Our older population is diverse, and so are their creative contributions. They are writers, singers, actors, artists, teachers, planners, and idealists. They build buildings and tear down walls. Their creativity allows their minds to continue to grow while feeding the minds and stoking the interests of others.
        Ohio provides many opportunities for older adults to feed their creative fires. We have beautiful state parks, innovative museums and attractions, community senior centers, and colleges and universities that invite lifelong learners to their classes and programs.
        Lifelong learning – Stay engaged in learning to maintain or buffer your physical and mental well-being. Visit aging.ohio.gov/CommunityInvolvement.
        Volunteer programs – Older Ohioans give more than 350,000 hours of their time each year, helping people of all ages. Visit aging.ohio.gov/CommunityInvolvement.
        Contribute
        Older Ohioans are an integral part of our society. Communities that think about them not just as a group that might need assistance, but as individuals who are still rich with values and abilities, benefit from their tremendous potential. Every day, countless older Ohioans contribute their time, talent, and life experiences to benefit others.
        Older adults contribute in many ways. They remain in or return to the workforce to help drive our economy forward. They support vital organizations within their communities and our state through volunteer service. They are mentors and teachers for all ages. They advocate for and educate their peers and others to make decisions that will lead to better lives. They help where and when needed and serve as examples for the rest of us to follow.
        Older workers – Compete in today's workplace by knowing what value you bring and how employers can get the most from you. Visit aging.ohio.gov/olderworkers.
        Be a volunteer long-term care ombudsman – Step up to be an advocate for long-term care consumers wherever they call home. Visit aging.ohio.gov/VolunteerOmbudsman.
        Be a volunteer health & wellness leader - Conduct evidence-based workshops proven to help participants manage chronic conditions, prevent injury and live more fulfilling lives. Visit aging.ohio.gov/CommunityInvolvement.
        Volunteer programs – Older Ohioans give more than 350,000 hours of their time each year, helping people of all ages. Visit aging.ohio.gov/CommunityInvolvement.
        Learn more about Older Americans Month from the U.S. Administration for Community Living at acl.gov/oam/2019/older-americans-month-2019.

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