- Written by Barbara Bodzin, Executive Director, LifePath
- Published: 24 April 2019
Celebrating Older Americans
May is Older Americans Month, and this year’s theme, according to the Administration for Community Living, which leads our nation’s observance, is Connect, Create, Contribute. It encourages older adults and their communities to:
- Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.
- Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
- Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.
Engagement promotes wellbeing and fosters the essential role older adults play within our communities. Positive engagement occurs through participation in meaningful activities which support our values and our life goals. This can happen through a multitude of ways to connect with others.
Connections naturally occur through our networks of family, friends and neighbors and expand out into our communities. We can enrich the lives of others when we tell our stories, share our culture, our history, and our wisdom. We can have a voice through grassroots activities, involvement with nonprofit organizations, participation on boards, communication with legislators, or involvement in social and political actions.
Opportunities for enrichment through education, volunteerism, exercise, health enhancement and social engagement are available through area colleges, senior centers, faith communities, and local organizations.
“Engagement promotes wellbeing and fosters the essential role older adults play within our communities.”
LifePath offers evidence-based healthy living programs which help participants improve health behaviors, health outcomes, and reduce healthcare utilization. Participants are motivated by peer leaders and by peer support who encourage one another to make positive lifestyle changes. Participants successfully integrate behavior changes into their day-to-day lives through this effective model. For those who are inspired by the experience and impact, there is opportunity and encouragement to continue on and train as volunteer peer leaders.
Volunteerism is another way to find fulfillment through a sense of connection and a way to give back to the community. LifePath relies on dedicated volunteers who positively change the lives of others. There is a wide range of options available, including delivering Meals on Wheels or assisting at a congregate dining center, visiting and advocating for residents in nursing facilities, leading a workshop in healthy living, transporting to medical appointments, or providing assistance with bill paying, understanding health insurance options, or completing fuel assistance applications. For those who prefer, there are options for working in our offices, acting as a consultant, or assisting with fundraising. Whatever the passion or skill set, there are opportunities available.