The theme for Older Americans Month 2012 is “Never Too Old To Play!”
Reading about it on the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) website started me thinking about my Aunt Ina. Even at 93 she was still active in playing bridge and other games.
She enjoyed games and life!
Here is the article from the U.S. Administration on Aging about this year’s theme…
Never Too Old To Play!
May is Older Americans Month, a perfect opportunity to show our appreciation for the older adults in our communities. Since 1963, communities across the nation have come together to celebrate Older Americans Month—a proud tradition that shows our nation’s commitment to recognizing the contributions and achievements of older Americans.
The theme for Older Americans Month 2012, Never Too Old to Play…
encourages older Americans to stay engaged, active and involved in their own lives and in their communities. In celebration of Older Americans Month, the U.S. Administration on Aging is pleased to provide this website which offers useful resources and tools to help you plan and promote events and activities honoring older Americans.
Consider hosting a Day of Play with a team trivia night, intergenerational Wii bowling tournament or other fun activity! Bring the community together by painting a mural or sponsoring a photo scavenger hunt. Whatever your community does, make sure you have fun and consider making it intergenerational. More than anything else always remember… You’re Never Too Old To Play!
Here are three great ways to support Older Americans Month.
- Host a Day of Play.
The Administration on Aging is encouraging Aging Network partners and other organizations around the country to host a Day of Play. This website includes numerous suggestions to help you plan and promote your Day of Play.
- Use Social Media.
AoA’s social media tools and sample story arc make it easy to promote Older Americans Month on your social media networks. Use the pledge badge to the right to show your support of Older Americans Month. Share messages from the OAM story arc on your Facebook page and Twitter feed, remember to use the hashtag #OAM2012.
- Promote Older Americans Month.
Use traditional tools like posters, newsletters, and website banner-ads to promote Older Americans Month to your partners and stakeholders.
Nice information for a business or group, like a senior center. What about individual caregivers?
Wondering how this fits into your caregiving?
Play can be an important part of successful caregiving.
Well, many activities are fun. And adding fun is an important part of caregiving.
Goodness, there is enough pain and suffering in caregiving! Finding your joy can be a daily challenge. Sometimes hourly!
Adding fun can make caregiving more enjoyable giving both you and your care recipient a brief respite from the cares and challenges of caregiving.
And don’t you both need it?
How can caregivers can use the theme for Older Americans Month 2012?
- Make play and fun part of your caregiving all year.
You can add games or fun activities to your caregiving all year long. Some may be seasonal. There’s no reason you need to limit fun and games to just one month!
Do you see how this year’s theme is really about becoming aware of ways to add play to senior citizens’ lives?
- Choose activities your care recipient can do and likes.
Not everyone likes card games. Maybe adjusting a hobby to fit your care recipient’s physical, mental and emotional situation is necessary…
- Be flexible with activities, changing them as a disease or aging progresses.
When my mother started to fail, she became frustrated she could no longer sew. A life-long sewer and quilter, she became depressed.
Wondering what the solution was?
Ours was finding simpler projects for her, like weaving loops into pot holders on a loom. And it worked!
Play is fun and can keep the mind and body active.
Be sure to adjust activities to what your care recipient enjoys and can successfully do!
It is okay to help when needed.
And what about you?
Wondering how you can add play activities to your life? Or why?
Because it is part of successfully navigating the hard road of caregiving.
Now there’s a road map to navigate caregiving and to more than survive – to thrive – in caregiving!
And start thriving today!
To your healthy and happy caregiving,
Ina Gilmore, M.D. (Retired)
“The Knitting Dr.”
Bestselling Author of “What Do I Say In a Sympathy Card?”
Creator of A HEART PLAN