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Celebrating Older Americans Month: Powered by Connection

Updated: 20 hours ago

Established in 1963, Older Americans Month (OAM) is celebrated every May. Led by a federal agency, the Administration for Community Living (ACL), OAM is a time to recognize older Americans' contributions, highlight aging trends, and reaffirm commitments to serving the older adults in our communities.


This year’s theme, Powered by Connection, focuses on the profound impact that meaningful connections have on the well-being and health of older adults — a relationship underscored by the U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community.


In an effort to make sure our community of older adults are Powered by Connection, Coal Creek Meals on Wheels (CCMOW) is working towards a future where every individual has access to nutritious meals and meaningful connections. We aspire to foster a community of dignity, where no one goes hungry or feels alone, where compassion and support thrive, and where all individuals are empowered to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.


How CCMOW is creating connections for older adults

Meal Delivery Program

Monday through Friday, CCMOW volunteers deliver nutritious, ready-to-eat meals directly to clients' doorsteps. Many of our clients live alone and some may be homebound, meaning daily social interaction is limited. Our daily meal deliveries provide regular well checks for clients along with opportunities for social interaction that they may not otherwise have access to.


Plates for Pets

The Plates for Pets Program provides monthly supplies of pet food to clients to ensure their companion animals are also receiving nutritious food. Providing pet food also frees up financial resources for clients to focus on other necessities without having to worry about how they will feed and care for their pets.


Buddy Program

In January 2024, we launched the Buddy Program, which pairs volunteers with clients to provide additional social interaction to combat social isolation and loneliness. "Buddies" meet at least two hours per month and typically spend time chatting, playing games, reading, or engaging in other activities of interest for both the volunteer and the client.


If you are interested in volunteering for the Buddy Program, email Luna Collins, Volunteer Coordinator. If you are interested in being matched with a volunteer buddy, call our office at 303-665-0566 or contact Emma Gaulin, Client Services Manager.


Coal Creek Café

Monday through Friday, CCMOW provides onsite lunches in a congregate cafe-style setting to older adults (residents and drop-ins from the community) at Josephine Commons. This program provides high-quality, nutrient-dense meals for diners as well as essential daily social interaction between Josephine Commons residents, members from the community and the CCMOW kitchen staff and volunteers. 


Book Club

Once a month, the members of Coal Creek Meals on Wheels' book club gather at Josephine Commons, offering more than just discussions on the latest page-turner. It's an opportunity for friendships to be forged, stories to be shared, and connections to be made. For those facing mobility challenges, CCMOW extends a helping hand, providing transportation to ensure no one misses out on the enriching experience. For the members of the book club, each meeting is not just about books—it's about belonging, understanding, and the enduring beauty of human connection.


What can individuals do to connect?

  • Invite more connections into your life by finding a new passion, joining a social club, taking a class, or trying new activities in your community. 

  • Stay engaged in your community by giving back through volunteering, working, teaching, or mentoring.

  • Invest time with people to build new relationships and discover deeper connections with your family, friends, colleagues, or neighbors.


Resources

  • Visit the official OAM website for more information and get ideas to help you plan activities in your community.

  • Connecting with others may sound easy, but it isn’t always. Visit eldercare.acl.gov to find trustworthy local support resources, like transportation and respite care, that can help.

  • Social isolation impacts physical and emotional health. Are you or a loved one at risk for social isolation? Take this Connect2Affect assessment to find out.

  • Learn more about all the services CCMOW offers and how to get involved.


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