Celebrate Older Americans Month
May is Older Americans Month, which is a time to celebrate the many ways that older Americans enrich our communities. It’s also a time to encourage older adults and their communities to stay connected.
At Notre Dame Health System, this idea of engagement is central to everything we do, whether we’re at Chateau de Notre Dame, Our Lady of Wisdom, Wynhoven or Notre Dame Hospice and Home Care. We believe that our residents and clients have so much to contribute to our Louisiana community, so we create activities and events that allow them to connect with family and friends, volunteers and nurses, to illustrate some of their life experiences that may benefit us all.
If you’re like all of us at Notre Dame Health System and are interested in finding creative ways to make the most of Older Americans Month, we suggest the following ideas:
- Make time to connect with friends and family, especially across generational lines. At each of our campuses, families are encouraged to visit as often as possible. Creating a sense of home is essential to continuing a happy life for residents, clients and their families.
- Think of service opportunities that will give you a chance to meet new people who are older than you and who may have different points of view to offer. Volunteering at assisted living facilities is beneficial to both the residents and the volunteers because both can learn from each other.
- Participate in engaging activities with your family that provide a platform for storytelling; who knows, you may learn that your granddaughter has the same passion for fishing that you do, or you may learn that your grandmother lived on the same street as you during college.
- Promote learning about health and personal enrichment for friends and family, especially for older Americans who may not have prioritized these ideas. For example, at Chateau de Notre Dame, we host exercise classes for residents to promote safe and healthy living. Similarly, the residents at Our Lady of Wisdom are encouraged to participate in Trivia Nights each month, promoting mental acuity.
- Contribute time and talent to help your family members and those in your community; whether you’re 25 or 75, you have a lot to offer other generations. Many of the residents and their families at Wynhoven help with the annual Mardi Gras ball, ensuring every person enjoys him/herself as they celebrate the Carnival season. The best part of parties like the ball? When families come together to reminisce about their Mardi Gras experiences and learn from each other.
- Listen to others’ life experiences; it makes a difference for people to feel heard, and you’ll learn a lot from a new generational perspective. Because Notre Dame Health System is a faith-based organization, we use Bible study to promote discussions between residents and clients. Any kind of book club or reading group provides an outlet for listening and learning across age groups.
Celebrate Older Americans Month with your family and friends and encourage older generations to stay engaged with their communities through these ideas.Back to News / Blog