May is Older American Month

Connect, Create, Contribute

By MaryAnne Beatty

ALEXANDRIA, VA-Every May, the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. The 2019 theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, encourages older adults and their communities to:

Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.

Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.

Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

Communities that encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger! By engaging and supporting all community members, we recognize that older adults play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives.

We are fortunate to live in an area where there are so many opportunities to connect, create, and contribute. Check out what Senior Services as to offer this month, as well as other organizations around town.

Here are just a few suggestions:

May 1 – 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. – Coffee Connection meets in the Starbucks at the Giant Food at 3131 Duke Street. This is an opportunity to meet other seniors in your neighborhood and learn about a variety of topics.

May 10 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Local Tour of Fort Ward Park and Museum – This month we’ll meet at Fort Ward Park, 4301 W. Braddock Road, at 10:00 a.m. for an overview and tour of the history of fort.

May 28Healthy Food Lecture & Tasting – 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. at Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke Street. Participants learn about new ways to prepare the foods we love and that are healthy for us.

May 29Annual Health & Fitness Fair – 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson Street, Alexandria – It is always a fun way to kick-off spring in connection with National Senior Health and Fitness Month. This fun event has a little something for everyone including breakout sessions where participants can participate in healthy food demonstrations, free health screenings, tai chi, and simple exercise programs intended to improve one’s balance and strength.

The event starts off with Inova Alexandria Hospital talking about healthy nutrition habits and how it is never too late to improve your health as we age.

This is a FREE event sponsored by the City of Alexandria’s Successful Aging Committee with members from the Departments of Community and Human Services’ Division of Aging and Adult Services/Adult Day Services and Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority and Senior Services of Alexandria.

All of SSA’s events are free and open to the public. We ask that you register online at seniorservicesalex.org or call (703) 836-4414, ext. 110.

If you are looking to contribute, SSA has several ways to give back. Volunteers are always needed to deliver Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors, visit an isolated senior, shop and/or deliver groceries to seniors, or become a Senior Ambassador and spread the word to older adults in your communities about all the programs and services that Alexandria has to offer!

Celebrate Older Americans Month by signing up for an activity either with SSA or check out what the city has to offer at alexandriava.gov. You will be glad you did!

MaryAnne Beatty is the Director of Community Outreach for Senior Services of Alexandria.