May is a pretty special time of the year at our agency. It’s Older Americans Month and a time to celebrate the wonderful contributions given by so many older adults in our communities and express our gratitude for their years of positive influence and dedication to their families, friends and neighbors.
This year’s Older Americans Month theme — Communities of Strength — celebrates the strength of older adults and the Aging Network, with special emphasis on the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities.
This month our agency has had the opportunity to touch base with all 10 of our county commissioners offices, asking them to sign a proclamation for this special month, in addition to us providing them with county-specific information related to the number of individuals served in 2020, as well as information related to our pandemic response.
Throughout the entire pandemic, our agency has served as essential employees, providing care management and assessment services to our consumers and the community, as well as serving as a hub of information through our Aging and Disability Resource Center. Thanks to our dedicated contracted providers, individuals have been able to continue receiving needed services in their home, such as personal care, homemaking, home-delivered meals and transportation. Although adjustments have had to be made along the way to keep health and safety the priority, the resilience of our Aging Network in our district and beyond has been a testament to the communities of strength we have and continue to experience on a daily basis.
During this special month, we are showcasing our Annual Senior Citizens Art Show, once again virtually. This event gives us the opportunity to showcase the talent of seniors in our area with their art and written pieces. I encourage you to go to our website at www.aaa7.org and take a peek at the wonderful submissions that are featured this year.
We at the Area Agency on Aging District 7 are certainly proud of the opportunities we have had to provide services, supports and resources to older adults year-round. The services and programs we can provide give us the opportunity to promote happy and productive lives for seniors and those with disabilities, allowing them to remain safe and independent in their homes and communities. If you’d like to learn more about resources that are available for you or your loved one, information about the pandemic or COVID-19 vaccine offerings in your area, please call our resource center toll-free at 1-800-582-7277.
So, a happy Older Americans Month to all! Please take the time this month to recognize seniors throughout our 10 counties and be sure to thank them for their important role in our communities.
Nina Keller is the executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7, which includes Highland County.