Bringing a close to its celebration of Older Americans Month, the Corning Healthcare District continues to encourage older adults to make their marks every day as volunteers, employees, employers, parents, grandparents, mentors, and advocates as they offer their time, talents, and experience to the benefit of their communities.
May was designated as Older Americans Month by presidential proclamation in 1963 to acknowledge the contributions of the nation’s senior citizens. For 57 years, Older Americans Month has been a special time to recognize these contributions.
This year’s theme, Make Your Mark, highlighted older adults’ unique and lasting contributions to their communities - everything from sharing a story with grandchildren to leaving a legacy of community action. In the spirit of the theme, the Corning Healthcare District offers these ways older residents can make their mark all year long:
ν Volunteer your time. Especially in this time of social distancing, people can contribute in meaningful ways. Help with food distribution through schools, shelters, food kitchens, and hospitals. Help a neighbor by prepping a meal or picking up groceries. If you have computer skills and internet access, take time to pass on your knowledge. Schools are closed and students are home. With access to modern technology you could tutor a student online who needs extra help in math, music, or science.
ν Share your story. There are so many ways to do this. Keep a journal, write a book or memoir. Take an online class and learn how to express yourself with the arts. There are multitudes of free tutorials on YouTube. Another idea is to assemble a photo album or scrapbook of important moments in your life.
ν Get involved in your neighborhood. With so many seniors even more isolated than ever before, your elder neighbors are as close as your phone. Virtual meetings can be arranged through social media platforms like Facebook as well as Skype, Zoom, or such. Sign up for a book club or other social group that has virtual meeting capability. Have a green thumb? Take up a gardening project.
All of the above are merely suggestions and starting points. Communities that support and include all their members are stronger, shared the Corning Healthcare District staff.
There are so many ways aging Americans can make their mark, and there is much family, friends and the community can do to encourage them. Find out more at: https://covia.org/services/well-connected/.