Older Americans Month Recognized In Michigan This May

Michigan Community NewsLansing, MI - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) joins the federal Administration for Community Living in observing May nationally and in Michigan as Older Americans Month (OAM) to recognize and honor older adults and their influence and impact.

This year's theme, "Powered by Connection,” emphasizes the profound impact of meaningful interactions and social connections on the well-being and health of older adults in our communities.

More than 25% of Michigan’s population is age 60 or older. Michigan will continue to see increases in this population for the next several decades and will also continue to see people living longer. Seeking opportunities to remain active and engaged is one way to foster healthy aging, especially as most older adults wish to live independently in their homes and communities.

“MDHHS is proud to work collaboratively with our aging network partners to ensure that older Michigan residents have the resources and supports needed to stay healthy, active and engaged in their communities,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director. “Through evidence-based health and wellness workshops, nutrition supports such as home-delivered meals and congregate dining sites and senior employment and volunteer opportunities, area agencies on aging and their local providers promote inclusivity and connectedness which contribute to physical and mental health across generations.”

How can community groups, businesses and organizations mark OAM?

  • Spread the word about the mental, physical and emotional health benefits of social connection through professional and personal networks.
  • Encourage social media followers to share their thoughts and stories of connection using hashtag #PoweredByConnection to inspire and uplift.
  • Promote opportunities for older adults to engage, like cultural activities, recreational programs and interactive virtual events.
  • Connect older adults with local services, such as counseling, that can help them overcome obstacles to meaningful relationships and access to support systems.
  • Host events or programs where older adults can serve as mentors to peers, younger adults or youths.

What can individuals do to connect?

  • Invite more connection into your life by finding a new passion, joining a social club, taking a class or trying new activities in your community.
  • Stay engaged in your community by giving back through volunteering, working, teaching, or mentoring.
  • Invest time with people to build new relationships and discover deeper connections with your family, friends, colleagues or neighbors.

Older adults are invited to contact their area agencies on aging to explore local events and activities available in their areas, and to learn more about home and community-based services that are available to help older adults remain living independently.

See: Older Americans Month

For more information on aging services, please visit Michigan.gov/BPHASA.

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