May is ‘Older Americans Month’

LANSING – The Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) invites all Michigan citizens to honor the older adults in their lives during the month of May, Older Americans Month. This annual celebration is a national observance that recognizes the valuable achievements and contributions of older adults.

As the 2012 theme “Never Too Old to Play” suggests, Older Americans Month also marks a special time to encourage older adults to stay engaged, active and involved in their own lives and in their communities.

“When older people are physically and socially active, we know that their quality of life improves,” said Kari Sederburg, director of the OSA. “While these are great reasons for older adults to keep their brains active and their bodies moving to the extent that they are able, it’s also a wonderful reason to spend time with older relatives and friends.”

There are many ways to let the older adults in your life know that you care, not just during Older Americans Month, but all year long. From preparing a lunch for parents, taking flowers to an older neighbor you haven’t seen since the snow thawed, learning family history from relatives, or even just involving your grandparents in a hobby – take every opportunity to glean knowledge and information from your elders.

“Older people hold a unique and special place in the family dynamic. Their wisdom gained over the course of a lifetime, understanding of family history, personal values, life choices and goals all contribute to giving families a sense of identity and roots,” Sederburg said. “Interactions with family, friends and neighbors across generations enrich the lives of everyone involved.”

For more information about activities with older people or resources for the loved ones in your life, visit www.olderamericansmonth.org or www.michigan.gov/miseniors.

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