COLUMBUS – May is Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate the lifelong contributions of our oldest citizens and their continued value to their communities. It is also a time to thank the legions of area agency on aging and senior center staff, long-term care workers, family caregivers, advocates and volunteers that make up Ohio’s aging network. To learn about celebrations in your community or to access services and supports for yourself or a loved one, contact your area agency on aging.
“We all have a role in ensuring that everyone has the ability to age with grace and dignity in the settings of our choosing, and with rich and meaningful opportunities to contribute and thrive,” said Ursel J. McElroy, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “It’s not just about increasing the years we have, but also increasing the quality of those years. Ohio’s aging network works every day to help all Ohioans live healthier, more active lives.”
Each year, the U.S. Administration for Community Living establishes a theme for Older Americans Month. Recognizing that each person’s life is unique, the 2022 theme is Age Your Way. While aging your way will be different for each person, here are some things you can do to mark Older Americans Month:
• Plan: Think about what you will need and want in the future, from home and community-based services to community activities that interest you. Explore the benefits available to you. Learn your rights as a long-term care consumer.
• Engage: Remain involved and contribute to your community through recreation, work, volunteer, or civic participation opportunities.
• Be safe at home: Make home improvements and modifications, use assistive technologies, access caregiver resources, and customize supports to help you better age in place.
• Stay healthy: Learn about and adopt lifestyle choices that enable you to be healthier, such as eating right, managing chronic health conditions, maintaining brain health, and preventing falls.
• Connect: Engage in social activities and relationships to combat social isolation and stay connected to your community.
Explore information to help you do all these things on the Ohio Department of Aging’s website, www.aging.ohio.gov. Call 1-866-246-5678 to be connected to the area agency on aging serving your community to learn about resources and opportunities near you.
About ODA – The Ohio Department of Aging serves and advocates for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers and communities. Programs include home and community based long-term supports and services, as well as initiatives to promote health and wellness throughout the lifespan. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.