New Bern, NC – Every May since 1963, people in towns and cities across the country have come together to celebrate the enormous contributions of older Americans—borne of wisdom, experience, and the will to realize their dreams and speak their minds. Older Americans Month is our chance to show our appreciation and support our seniors as they continue to enrich and strengthen our communities. The Eastern Carolina Council Area Agency on Aging (ECCAAA) is joining the festivities with special activities and events.
The theme of this year’s celebration—Older Americans: Connecting the Community—pays homage to the many ways in which older adults bring inspiration and continuity to the fabric of our communities. Their shared histories, diverse experiences, and wealth of knowledge have made our culture, economy, and local character what they are today. The theme also highlights the many ways technology is helping older Americans live longer, healthier and more engaged lives.
In fact, older Americans are more active in community life than ever before, thanks in part to advances in health care, education, technology, and financial stability over the last several decades that have greatly increased their vitality and standard of living. Tonya Cedars, Area Agency on Aging Director, adds that older adults now enjoy nearly 25 years of retirement and that “seniors are living longer with different health conditions and needs, and last year alone, we met the needs of more than 10,000 older adults in our nine county coverage area.” Older adults are using this time to give back and make a difference in their community.
Our seniors are mentoring the leaders of tomorrow, taking to heart the need for intergenerational learning to guide and inspire young minds. They offer a take on times gone by not discussed in any history class—a unique perspective that sheds new light on contemporary issues.
Older Americans step up to help one another as well. Across the country, seniors connect with other seniors by delivering meals, helping with home repair, assisting with shopping, and offering companionship, counseling, and care. Their efforts remind us that when older adults are active and engaged in their communities, everyone benefits.
Help us celebrate Older Americans Month! Join your neighbors not only to recognize what older citizens bring to our communities, but also to help them continue playing a vital role in weaving a unique and lasting community fabric.
ECCAAA helps maintain and improve the quality of life for older adults (60 years or better) and to address their needs and concerns. The AAA focuses on supporting and assisting older adults in obtaining aging services offered in their communities through local aging service providers. Contact our agency at 252-638-3115 ext 3015 to find out about volunteer opportunities with programs that provide services for seniors to improve health literacy, increase access to quality health services, deliver food and nutrition services, provide financial and housing.
Submitted by: Jillian Hardin, MPA, CIRS-A, Aging Specialist, Eastern Carolina Council Area on Aging, 233 Middle Street, New Bern, NC 252-638-3185 ext 3015