Older Americans Month (OAM) is here! May was set aside by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in 1963 to acknowledge the contributions of older Americans and to fight misconceptions about aging. This year’s theme, Aging Unbound, gives us an opportunity to celebrate seniors’ accomplishments and to refresh our perspective on how we talk about aging.
While paying tribute to the accomplishments of seniors, this month also allows us to reflect on the importance of enabling older adults to age on their own terms and in their preferred environment. Join us this May as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of OAM and challenge the stigma on aging. Here is how Coal Creek Meals on Wheels is participating in Aging Unbound:
Embrace the opportunity to change. Coal Creek Meals on Wheels has been examining our organization’s practices to ensure we are embracing diversity and promoting equity and inclusion. In April, we hosted our first Participant Advisory Council (PAC) meeting where we brought together current clients, staff, and board members. Our goal with these meetings is to receive feedback from a 360 degree perspective and utilize it to make improvements to our programs and services. A special thank you to Sister Carmen Community Center for helping us start this group! CCMOW also created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to ensure we are fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for our staff, clients, volunteers, and community members. The first project for the committee is to do an organizational assessment to see where we are and determine what the next steps will be for improvement.
Explore the rewards of growing older. It is known that with age comes knowledge. To highlight this and honor the wisdom of our older adult clients, CCMOW will be sharing some client stories that provide insight into their unique life experiences. Stay tuned for those!
Stay engaged in the community. CCMOW has been busy attending community events, including Aging at Altitude, the Superior Business Expo, and the Erie Town Fair. We are also scheduled to be at Taste of Louisville and the Erie and Louisville Farmers Markets later this summer!
Form relationships. Relationships are a key ingredient for overall health and well-being. At CCMOW, we pride ourselves in developing long lasting relationships with our clients, volunteers, staff, and donors supporters. Our meal delivery volunteers build long-term relationships with the clients on their routes, and our Coal Creek Cafe provides the perfect location to meet new people and build lasting friendships. We are also in the process of creating a pen pal program for our clients so homebound individuals can socialize in a way that works best for them!
Coal Creek Meals on Wheels believes in the value of every individual, regardless of age. By providing nutritious meals and daily social contact to our neighbors, we are helping older adults in our community “age unbound,” live independently, and age on their own terms in their preferred environment.
You can support older adults in our communities by volunteering or donating. Learn more at www.coalcreekmow.org today!