Older Americans Month: Communities of Strength

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May is Older Americans Month

A year into a global pandemic it goes without saying that times have been hard, but if history has taught us anything, it is that when people come together, anything can be overcome. Truer words can not be said about the way Central Arkansas families, friends, and businesses have come together to support and lift each other up.

In our community, older adults are a key source of this strength. Through their experiences, successes, and difficulties, they have built resilience that helps them to face new challenges. When communities tap into this, they become stronger too.

Why Older Americans Month?

Each May since 1963, the Administration for Community Living leads the celebration of Older Americans Month (OAM) to recognize the important role older adults play in fostering the connection and engagement that build strong, resilient communities. This year’s theme is Communities of Strength.

Strength is built and shown not only by bold acts, but also small ones of day-to-day life—a conversation shared with a friend, working in the garden, trying a new recipe, or taking time for a cup of tea on a busy day. And when we share these activities with others—even virtually or by talking about the experience later—we help them build resilience too.

This year, CareLink, Central Arkansas’s Area Agency on Aging, will celebrate OAM by encouraging community members to share their experiences. Together, we can find strength—and create a stronger future.

 

Here are some ways to share and connect:

  • Look for the joy in every day: Celebrate small moments and ordinary pleasures by taking time to recognize them. Start a gratitude journal and share it with others via social media or call a friend or family member to share a happy moment or to say thank you.
  • Reach out to neighbors: Even if you can’t get together in person right now, you can still connect with your neighbors. Leave a small gift on their doorstep, offer to help with outdoor chores, or deliver a homecooked meal.
  • Build new skills: Learning something new allows us to practice overcoming challenges. Take an art course online or try a socially distanced outdoor movement class to enjoy learning with others in your community. Or sign up for CareLink’s free, virtual kickboxing class through Facebook. Have a skill to share? Find an opportunity to teach someone, even casually.
  • Share your story: There’s a reason storytelling is a time-honored activity. Hearing how others experience the world helps us grow. Interviewing family, friends, and neighbors can open up new conversations and strengthen our connections.

 

Wanting more ideas? The ACL has a great list of ideas for COVID-safe options that can help make this year’s OAM one to remember.

When people of different ages, backgrounds, abilities, and talents share experiences—through action, story, or service—we help build strong communities. And that’s something to celebrate! Please join CareLink in strengthening our community and reach out to the older people in your life to learn more about their own. Share stories and pictures with us on social by using the hashtag #CareLinkOAM2021. We can’t wait to learn more about the history of our community.

Want to read the official Presidential Proclamation? Find it here.

For more information about CareLink services, call us at 501-372-5300, toll-free at 800-482-6359, or send an email to Info@CareLink.org. Want to know which Area Agency on Aging in Arkansas serves your older loved ones? Give us a call or visit the Arkansas Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

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CareLink, a nonprofit agency serving older people in Central Arkansas, aims to connect older people and their families with the information and resources needed to meet the challenges and opportunities of aging. CareLink has provided services for active older people, homebound older people, and family caregivers in Faulkner, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, Pulaski, and Saline counties since 1979.