Older Americans Month celebrates elders, promotes opportunities to grow, thrive and contribute
COLUMBUS – Ohio’s 60-plus population is growing more than 20 times faster than our overall population. Our growing and changing aging population underscores the need to not only meet our elders’ care needs, but also to challenge negative stereotypes about aging and provide new and innovative opportunities for older adults to continue to contribute to their communities.
“Think about your interactions with friends, co-workers and loved ones over the past couple of days: How many times did you hear or say something negative about growing older?” asked Bonnie K. Burman, director of the department. “It is time for all Ohioans to challenge the declinist view of aging and celebrate the benefits and opportunities of living ‘Well Beyond 60!'”
Each May, Ohio and the nation celebrate the contributions and lives of our elders during Older Americans Month. This year, the Ohio Department of Aging is encouraging all Ohioans to re-evaluate their preconceived notions about growing older with its theme: “Aging. It’s Everybody’s Business.” All month long, the department and its partners in the aging network will highlight programs, projects, businesses and organizations in Ohio that provide meaningful opportunities and assistance for elders to remain in, engage with and contribute to their communities in positive and comprehensive ways.
Pledge to make aging your business:
▪ Challenge ageist views and negative stereotypes about aging wherever you see or hear them;
▪ Make lifestyle changes that will decrease the chance of chronic disease and injury as you age;
▪ Help others understand that aging has both challenges and benefits at every stage of life;
▪ Remember that all Ohioans deserve opportunities to grow, thrive and contribute throughout their lifespans; and
▪ Challenge community leaders, business owners, co-workers, family and friends to make aging their business, too!
Learn more about making aging your business by visiting the Ohio Department of Aging’s website (www.aging.ohio.gov) all month long for resources, guest blogs, activities and more. Follow the Ohio Department of Aging on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and join the conversation by using the hashtag #WellBeyond60.
For resources, opportunities or assistance for yourself or an older loved one, contact your area agency on aging by calling 1-866-243-5678 or visit www.aging.ohio.gov to find the agency serving your community.
A few ways to make aging your business
▪ Talk to your health care provider about lifestyle changes that can improve your overall health and wellness, as well as decrease your risk of injury and disability.
▪ Volunteer in your community to stay active and engaged.
▪ Mentor younger generations and model positive attitudes toward aging.
▪ Go back to school or participate in local programs to learn new skills.
▪ Express yourself through art.
▪ Talk to your health care provider about healthy choices you can make now to improve your health and wellness, as well as delay or avoid chronic disease and disability later in life.
▪ Start planning today for possible future care needs, and have a plan to ensure your preferences are met.
▪ Explore community resources that help families care for their aging loved ones.
▪ Volunteer in your community to improve the lives and care of older adults.
▪ Include the needs and preferences of your community elders in plans and initiatives.
▪ Explore changes to make your community elder-friendly.
▪ Provide opportunities for elders to contribute in meaningful ways.
▪ Build and promote programs and initiatives that bring generations together.
▪ Provide opportunities within your workforce for older workers to continue to contribute and grow.
▪ Consider the needs of workers who may be providing care for older loved ones.
▪ Make your workplace a fall-free zone for employees, customers and visitors.
▪ Implement business policies and practices that make it easier for older adults to access your goods and services.
▪ Participate in community initiatives to improve the health and wellness of elders.
About ODA – The Ohio Department of Aging works to ensure that elders are respected as vital members of society who continue to grow, thrive and contribute. We collaborate with state agencies and community partners, including area agencies on aging, to help integrate aging needs into local plans and ensure that aging Ohioans have access to a wide array of high-quality services and supports that are person-centered in policy and practice. The programs include the PASSPORT Medicaid waiver, caregiver support, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.