This month we celebrate Older Americans Month by recognizing the amazing older adults all around us that are making a positive impact as volunteers, employees and advocates. Older adults are an incredible resource for our community.
By engaging and supporting all ages, we recognize that older adults play an important role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives. The energy that we build up as we age is what powers us to move our community forward.
This year’s OAM theme, Connect Create, Contribute runs through the heart of our Senior Programs at the Volunteer Center.
Every day we connect seniors with opportunities for greater independence and engagement in our community through our Helping Hands Home Repair program. The team of Helping Hands volunteers provide more than safety modifications, home inspections and valuable resources, they also serve as a crucial lifeline of human connection for those individuals living alone who know the meaning of isolation and loneliness all too well. Often times, volunteers are the friendliest connection they will make.
A Matter of Balance empowers seniors to overcome their own fears of falling and increase the amount of exercise they engage in to build strength and balance. The 8-session program gives older adults opportunities for growth and new learning and creates new and healthy habits.
The contributions of Monterey Bay RSVP volunteers continues to grow our communities into stronger, more vibrant places to live. RSVP volunteers help other seniors get the health care they need and improve their quality of life with companionship, transportation, home support and meals. Locally, these volunteers contribute over $3 million worth of service to local agencies by sharing their skills, talents and knowledge.
We invite you to connect with and celebrate older adults and the communities of which they are a vital part. Consider these volunteer opportunities.
Another way to celebrate OAM is to attend the new exhibition “We’re Still Here” at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. Over the course of 6 months a community group of local seniors, advocates and artists called C3 (the Creative Community Committee) poured their ideas, art, hopes, and stories to create this inspiring exhibition. C3 created personal artwork about loneliness, brainstormed solutions to build connection, and offered their words of wisdom for future generations. The exhibition will leave you with the tools needed to address this growing issue and create real change in our community.
However you choose to connect with the older adults around you we’re here to help you make that happen. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our senior programs or volunteering for seniors in our community.
Blog Post written by Senior Programs Coordinator Tara Ireland who inspires volunteers to give back to their community and local seniors in need. Last year through her coordination efforts with Helping Hands, safety related home repairs were provided at 236 homes in Santa Cruz County.