One of the most exciting things about being a life-long learner is learning new things.
Did you know that we recently celebrated Older American Month?
I was reading my AARP magazine a little while ago, and read that older Americans have a month!
What you say?!
“Aging Upbound” was the theme this year. The goal was to encourage diverse experiences in aging populations and to remove the stigma and stereotypes of the elderly ‘just rocking’ their life away.
The creator of Older American Month is the Administration for Community Living.
Aging well must include flexible thinking, reading, writing(cards/letters), and engaging in a host of activities that encourage independence and safety.
Older American Engagement Matters
Ideas to help older Americans stay engaged are plentiful. In the Black community, not so much, due to social or environmental situations. Transportation is often the biggest drawback to getting to locations where seniors can engage in activities with their peers. If attending a senior activity location is not easy to access, some things can be done at home with family and friends.
For instance, games are always a great way to have fun. Scrabble, Fish, UNO, and bingo are great games. Music is always a great way to get the body moving. Infusing music from the older American era can be good for bringing back memories. Music connects everyone. Have a paint party. Plant flowers and start an in-home garden. Remember to include the importance of any form of exercise, even the ones that can be done sitting in a chair. Balance and strength exercises maintain independence, and both can be done at home.
As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, regardless of the format or activity you decide to engage Older Americans to promote upbeat aging, the mission is to keep them moving in whatever way works best for them. Just remember to have fun being creative!
Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman is a retired registered nurse and case manager; CEO of Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate and author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor, and The Black Book of Important Information for Caregivers. Website: www.cynthiajhickman.com