May is ‘Older Americans Month’ in Chatham County

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Older adults play vital, positive roles in our communities — as family members, friends, mentors, volunteers, civic leaders, members of the workforce, and more. Just as every person is unique, so too is how they age and how they choose to do it — and there is no “right” way.

That’s why the theme for Older Americans Month (OAM) 2022 is “Age My Way.”

Every year, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads the celebration of OAM. This year’s theme focuses on how older adults can age in their communities, living independently for as long as possible and participating in ways they choose.

This year, the Chatham County Council on Aging is excited to celebrate OAM with our partners in the aging community. The Chatham County Board of Commissioners proclaimed May 2022 as Older Americans Month in Chatham at its April 18 meeting.

“For over 47 years, the Chatham County Council on Aging has strived to assist seniors in embodying what it means to ‘Age My Way,’” COA Executive Director Ashlyn Martin said. “Through the many programs and services offered at the Council, we stand ready to enrich the lives of Chatham’s older adults by providing the tools that Chatham’s seniors need to lead fuller and more independent lives. While we proudly celebrate Older Americans Month in Chatham County this May, the reality is that there is no need to wait until a certain time to ‘Age My Way.’ That process can begin at any time by becoming involved in our local community through volunteerism. We encourage those who are interested in volunteering to contact the Council, as our important work in serving the seniors of Chatham County cannot endure without a strong corps of volunteers.”

While Age My Way will look different for each person, here are common things everyone can consider:

• Planning: Think about what you will need and want in the future, from home and community-based services to community activities that interest you.

• Engagement: Remain involved and contribute to your community through work, volunteer, and/or civic participation opportunities.

• Access: Make home improvements and modifications, use assistive technologies, and customize supports to help you better age in place.

• Connection: Maintain social activities and relationships to combat social isolation and stay connected to your community.

For more information on the Council on Aging, phone 919-542-4512 or 919-742-3975 or visit the Council’s website at www.chathamcoa.org.

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