When Older American’s Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. Then a meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to “Older American’s Month” (OAM). Since then May continues to be celebrated as Older American’s Month.
OAM is a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons in our country. Older adults play vital, positive roles in our communities – as family members, friends, mentors, volunteers, civic leaders, members of the workforce, and more.
So then just as every person is unique, so too is how they age and how they choose to do it. That’s why the theme for Older Americans Month 2022 is “Age My Way”. While aging will look different for each person, here are common things everyone can consider as they get older:
- 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.
Buckham West also supports efforts that encourage older adults to age their own way, staying in their homes and living independently in their communities for as long as possible. The 2022 theme is Age My Way, gives an opportunity to explore the many ways older adults can remain in and be involved with their communities.
Beginning tomorrow, May 5th at 1:30 p.m., Buckham West will launch another Great Courses presentation on “Polar Explorations: Science and Discovery at the Ends of the Earth”. Great Courses is a series of college-level audio and video courses covering a wide range of topics. This program is presented by five experts in the field of the polar regions and will be facilitated locally by Bob Irby.
The “Polar Explorations” series delves into the fascinating history, science, culture, and wildlife of Antarctica and the Arctic. During the six weeks of lectures, experts will offer a look at how the polar regions were formed, what unique forms of life inhabit them, and how humankind has lived in and explored these regions.
This program will be a video viewing and discussion format held in 6 weekly sessions. Pre-register by calling 332-7357; free for Buckham West members, $3.00 for non-members.
Aging Eyes Initiative
Are you someone who is coping with vision loss? The “Aging Eyes Initiative” can help! Join us at Buckham West on Tuesday, May 24th at 1:30 p.m. for an informational session about the resources available in our community through the Aging Eyes Initiative.
Vision loss due to conditions like macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and other age-related eye conditions can be a frustrating and difficult part of aging. The good news is that while it may require learning some new skills and making some adaptations, vision loss need not destroy quality of life, ability to live independently, or ability to be involved in the community.
Betsy Shallbetter, program presenter, will give us information on the Aging Eyes Initiative, which is an award-winning program of Minnesota State Services for the Blind. The program partners with individuals and organizations throughout Minnesota to help seniors adjust to vision loss by providing:
- information about eye conditions common to seniors
- low-vision aids and devices at no charge
- referrals for more extensive assistance at State Services for the Blind
More about the presenter: Betsy Shallbetter is retired from teaching at the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind in Faribault. Vision-impaired herself, she hopes to provide reassurance to those who live with vision loss and to help them simplify and improve their quality of life.
This free program is open to the public. Please pre-register by calling Buckham West, 332-7357. Drop-ins are welcome.
Mother’s Day Ideas
Fashions on Central, Buckham West’s gently-used clothing store, has many great items for Mother’s Day. Don’t you think Mom would like a new purse, jewelry or summer top? How about a jacket, new capris or a gift certificate? The best part about shopping at Fashions on Central is that the prices are so low; you’ll have money left over to buy something for yourself.
In addition to shopping, we are also looking for additional donations to our store. At this time, we are especially looking for donations of women’s purses and jewelry.
Lastly, volunteer opportunities are also available for some shifts. If you are interested in a unique way to volunteer, how about helping out at Fashions on Central! Please call Mona at Buckham West (332-7357) to see what it entails.
Fashions on Central is open Tuesdays-Saturdays between 11:00-5:00. The store is located at 325 Central Ave. in downtown Faribault. All proceeds from sales at Fashions on Central go to benefit the operations of Buckham West.
Buckham West is now partnering with the Owatonna Senior Center for all day trips, you may sign up by calling 507-444-4321.
- Treasure Island on Wednesday, May 11; Register by May 6
- MN Twins Baseball game on Wednesday, August 3; Register by July 8th.
- “The Elvis Show” at the Ives Auditorium in Bloomington on Sunday, Sept. 11; Register by Aug. 24.
- The Church Basement Ladies in “Plowin’ Thru” on Wednesday, Sept. 28; Register by Sept. 6.