Connect. Create. Contribute.
This year’s theme for Older Americans Month fosters the encouragement of community’s pursuing the involvement of Older Adults in bringing their wisdom and experience to events and activities that enrich the lives of everyone in the community.
Communities are made of more than just the young and middle-aged. Communities are richly diverse in all facets, including aging. The more we recognize and utilize this aspect of public life, the stronger we can become as states, counties, cities, and townships. Nurturing relationships with the older adults in your community to help them become involved in events and activities not only enlivens their day-to-day routines, but also helps by bringing their years of experience and expertise to improve public life in your area.
We are as strong as our communities. By recognizing the lives of older adults, and keeping them involved in community discourse, we are simply strengthening the bonds of community life. As we enter the month of May, we hope that you will take some time to connect with the older adults in your neighborhood and show them that you value their contributions.
Ways to engage with your older neighbors
- Ask your older neighbor how they tend their flowers or how they care for their lawn. Learn from them!
- Ask an older person in your faith community to be part of a panel or team
- Engage an older, experienced person to join you at a city council meeting
- Organize a food drive and get neighbors involved
- Build a community garden. This is a time-tested way to promote community interaction in your neighborhood as well as share in a bounty of gardening techniques and tricks, not to mention the fresh veggies
- Host a regular monthly gathering, same time, no RSVP needed
- Start a neighborhood book club
- Go out of your way to say “hello.” You can start a conversation with your older neighbor by making a point of saying “hi” to her when she is out of her home. You may run into her on the street or pass her when she is sitting on her porch or in her garden. Smile and greet her to let her know you are interested in making a connection.
- Really listen to what your older neighbor has to say. They may have an interesting life story or have first-hand experience with a past you were not alive to see. Show respect and interest for your neighbor, as this will likely encourage them to visit with you
- Invite an older neighbor to volunteer with you