SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: May is Older Americans Month

Maureen Wendt

May is Older Americans Month. The 2019 theme is "Connect, Create, Contribute." The theme 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; and contribute time, talent and life experience to benefit others.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Older Americans Act into law in 1965. Since that time, the act has provided a nationwide aging services network that helps older adults live with dignity in the communities of their choice for as long as possible.

Older adults are a growing and increasingly vital part of our country. The contributions they make to our communities are varied, deeply rooted, and include influential roles in the nation's economy, politics and the arts. More than ever before, older Americans are working longer, trying new things and engaging in their communities. They are taking charge, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for themselves and others. They expect to live their life to the fullest. What it means to age has changed and Older Americans Month is a perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate what getting older looks like today.

While The Dale Association provides social and supportive services for older adults year-round, Older Americans Month offers an opportunity to highlight how older adults are engaging with and making a difference in communities. Throughout the month, The Dale Association will be conducting activities and providing tips on how to access programs and resources designed to maximize the independence of older adults in our community. The annual observance offers the opportunity to learn about, support, and celebrate our nation's older citizens. I hope you will participate.

One of those activities is our Health and Wellness Expo on Tuesday, May 21, from 10 a.m to noon at 33 Ontario St., Lockport. The public at large is invited. The expo will include vendor tables, free health screenings, a raffle and giveaways. Special guest speakers and their topics are: Jackie Sage from Elderwood at Lockport, "Strength Training," 10:15 a.m.; and Mollie McDonough from Cornell Cooperative Extension, "Healthy Eating," 11 a.m. Walk-ins are welcome to get free screenings for bone density, cholesterol, BMI, blood pressure, pulse oxygen and fall risk. Vision, hearing and memory screenings are free, too, but appointments are encouraged. Call 433-1886 to get your appointment; walk-ins will be accommodated based on unclaimed appointment times.

Maureen A. Wendt is president and CEO of The Dale Association, a non-profit organization that provides senior, mental health, in-home care, caregiver support services and enrichment activities for adults. For more information, call 433-1937 or visit www.daleassociation.com .