Older Americans Month: Communities of Strength

[May 2021 | By Eva Veitch, Region 10 Community Living Services Program Director]

In tough times, communities find strength in people—and people find strength in their communities. In the past year, we have seen this time and again in Western Colorado as friends, neighbors, and businesses have found new ways to support each other.

In our community, older adults are a key source of this strength. 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. [Related article]

Each May, the Administration for Community Living leads 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.

Strength is built and shown not only by bold acts, but also small ones of day-to-day life—a conversation shared with a friend, working in the garden, trying a new recipe, or taking time for a cup of tea on a busy day. And when we share these activities with others—even virtually or by talking about the experience later—we help them build resilience too.

Our community is blessed with hundreds of older adults who serve on boards, in public office, own successful businesses, donate countless hours of volunteer time and many remain in the workforce. Seven mature gentlemen recently constructed a new building at Sharing Ministries, Kate Burke; publisher of this magazine, Sue Hansen County Commissioner, Garry & Anita Martinez who tirelessly work at Shepard’s Hand. These are just a few examples of mature people who bring experience, skills, and wisdom to create communities of strength.

There are also the hundreds of people who quietly serve the community, helping their friends and neighbors, supporting community events and causes. As we celebrate Older Americans Month 2021; I am proud to be in the 60+ category sharing what I have learned and growing with my community.

When people of different ages, backgrounds, abilities, and talents share experiences—through action, story, or service—we help build strong communities. And that is something to celebrate!

Please join Region 10 Area Agency on Aging in strengthening our community; volunteers are needed for home delivered meals, the handyman program, food banks, community projects and Senior Companions. or call Joe at 970-765-3147. For those of you who are already engaged, keep up the good work, you are setting a great example! We appreciate you.