Did you know that May is Older Americans Month? The Administration for Community Living has a web page dedicated to this annual celebration honoring the contributions that older adults make every day and in every way. You can visit oam.acl.gov to participate in the 2016 theme of Blaze a Trail. Better yet, find a wonderful older adult in your life and go there with them, posting a selfie of how your favorite older American is blazing a trail and making a difference in this world!
Last year, the month of May also marked the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act (OAA). Decades ago, there were fewer social services for older adults. That meant greater pressure on children or, worse, that some of our senior citizens were going without the basics like a hot meal. OAA allowed for programs such as meals-on-wheels, home and community based long term care, and area senior centers. OAA also supports in-home services that allow our elders to age in place and do so with dignity.
Some of us take for granted that we can have quality healthcare at home, making it easier to recover from surgery or illness or to simply manage chronic health issues. When you’re not feeling well, even simple tasks are harder and it can be stressful just to get to a doctor’s office or healthcare facility. A professional home health care agency who can come to you can be such a relief.
It’s probably not a coincidence that May is also time for National Nurses Week (May 6 to 12) and National Nursing Home Week (May 8 to 14). As we age, we need these types of resources and appreciate the skills and care they provide. Of course, older adults are different today than they were when the OAA was created. Today, people are not only living healthier, longer lives but more active lives as well.
Sometimes, an active life means a tumble or a pulled muscle. You might even need surgery and rehab to get back your full range of motion. Compared to previous generations, today’s healthcare consumers are tech savvy and advocate for themselves. They want access to nursing services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They expect experienced and highly trained nurses and therapists.
While it may amaze those who once dreamt of the OAA, these demands are reasonable in 2016. If you are asking anything less of your home health provider, you’re cheating yourself.
Companies like Atrinity Home Health put you first, day after day, week after week, throughout the year by delivering a high level of care and treatment following an illness, injury, surgery or inpatient stay.
This month, switch things around and thank a nurse or take a moment to visit someone in a nursing home, even if it’s only to tell a staff member that they’re something special. May is a good time to remember that it’s the little things in life that count and our older Americans are rich with experiences that should be treasured.
Happy Older Americans Month!