In tough times, communities find strength in people – and people find strength in their communities. In the past year, we’ve seen this time and again as friends, neighbors, and businesses have found new ways to support each other. Each May, the Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL) joins the Administration for Community Living in the celebration of Older Americans Month (OAM). This year’s theme is Communities of Strength, recognizing the important role older adults play in fostering the connection and engagement that build strong, resilient communities.
RCIL recognizes the valuable contributions that older Americans provide our communities. Our agency is dedicated to providing a wide range of advocacy, programs and services to help ensure that older Americans have access to the vital services that allow them to remain independent and be contributing members of our community; and that includes their rights to choose where and how they want to age! For more information, call RCIL toll free at 1-800-627-2981 or visit the Adult & Senior Services section of our website at https://www.rcil.com/programs/adult-senior.
Older adults are a key source of strength in our communities. Through their experiences, successes, and difficulties they have built resilience that helps them to face new challenges. When communities tap into this, they become stronger too.
Here are some ways to share and connect:
- Look for joy in the everyday: Celebrate small moments and ordinary pleasures by taking time to recognize them. Start a gratitude journal and share it with others via social media, or call a friend or family member to share a happy moment or to say thank you.
- Reach out to neighbors: Even if you can’t get together in person right now, you can still connect with your neighbors. Leave a small gift on their doorstep, offer to help with outdoor chores, or deliver a homecooked meal.
- Build new skills: Learning something new allows us to practice overcoming challenges. Take an art course online or try a socially distanced outdoor movement class to enjoy learning with others in your community.
- Share your story: There’s a reason storytelling is a time-honored activity. Hearing how others experience the world helps us grow. Interviewing family, friends, and neighbors can open up new conversations and strengthen our connections.
When people of different ages, backgrounds, abilities, and talents share experiences—through action, story, or service—we help build strong communities. And that’s something to celebrate!