When Older Americans 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. 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 Americans Month.”

Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country. Every President since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities.

This year’s theme for Older Americans Month is “Make Your Mark.”  This theme was selected to encourage and celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities. Their time, experience, and talents benefit family, peers, and neighbors every day. Communities, organizations, and individuals of all ages are also making their marks. This year’s theme highlights the difference everyone can make – in the lives of older adults, in support of caregivers, and to strengthen communities.

If you would like to read more about how to recognize and celebrate Older American’s Month, check out the acl.gov website. This website also provides artwork, activity ideas, and other materials to help you observe Older Americans Month. Below are some great activity ideas that are especially interesting during the COVID-19 quarantine.

  • Browse more than 2,500 free courses available on edX.org. With subjects ranging from computer science to arts and humanities to foreign languages, there’s something for everyone.
  • Explore zoos and aquariums across the country, including Smithsonian’s National Zoo, through virtual behind the scenes tours and lessons. Many have live webcams so you can watch the animals any time.
  • Enjoy artwork from around the world. Thousands of museums and galleries have partnered with Google Arts & Culture to display their collections through virtual tours.
  • Tour one of the many national parks offering digital tours and experiences that you can access anytime.
  • Learn from the pros. MasterClass Live is currently offering one free streaming class per week.

Flower Basket Volunteers Needed

Summer is almost here and in a welcome sense of normalcy, there will be flower baskets beautifying the streets of downtown Faribault.  Once again it will be the responsibility of Buckham West to handle the watering of the baskets. Even though Buckham West is closed for the time being, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be looking for volunteers to help with this important project.  Using a specially outfitted golf cart, Buckham West volunteers hit the streets early in the morning for an hour or two of work each day watering the baskets. If you are a morning person who wants to volunteer for this project we could use your help this summer.

Typically, we would have an informational meeting with all new and former volunteers and then I would match up folks based on their availability. But this year is definitely not typical! We are first looking for individuals, men or women, who are willing to help. It would be ideal if you would sign up with a spouse, family member or an acquaintance that you are comfortable with- no membership to Buckham West is required. This will help with the social distancing that we will try to keep.  If you do not have your own partner, we will talk about ways to keep you safe. This may include using a mask.

In order to get a list of volunteers and work out the summer schedule, please send me your name and list of summer conflicts by calling me at 332-7357 or preferably by email to mkaiser@buckhamwest.org by May 15th.

Stimulus Check

With the uncertainty surrounding the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a person looks at their life and circumstances in a different way. We become grateful for what we have and often feel compelled to do something for others. Coming soon will be the stimulus money that we all will be receiving from the federal government.  If you are in a financial position to do so, won’t you please consider sending a check to your favorite non-profit (hint, hint) or church. Since their doors are closed until further notice, these organizations will certainly be feeling the pinch financially. Thanks in advance for your consideration

 Need some help?

If you are in need of resources during the next weeks or months, there are many places to look. But if you’re a senior or caregiver, I would highly suggest you start by calling the Senior LinkAge Line.  The Senior LinkAge Line® is Minnesota’s free statewide information and assistance service and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.  You can reach them by calling  1-800-333-2433 or find them at www.mnaging.org/advisor/SLL

Carla Pearson, LSW, a Senior and Caregiver Advocate for Three Rivers Community Action is another great resource for older adults in Rice County. Carla has a large array of services that she can provide, including completing applications for various programs and also in working with those living with memory loss.  She can now be reached only by phone at 1-800-277-8418 x328.


  • Buckham West is not open to the public until further notice. There will be staff here Monday-Friday from 9am to 1pm answering the phones and assisting callers with resources and questions that they have. Please call us at 332-7357. Our website and Facebook page will also have updated information as needed.
  • AARP Tax Aid program volunteers have canceled all tax appointments for this season. As of this date, there is no re-scheduled days that have been set.
  • “Music Man” at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre on Wednesday, July 1st is still being planned.
  • Curbside Pickup Meal- There is no noon meal served in at Buckham West until further notice. But you may order and pick up a meal instead. For more information please call the kitchen at 332-7680 or Buckham West at 332-7357. You can view the May menu on the Buckham West website at buckhamwest.org and click the Senior Dining tab at the top.