Celebrating Older Americans Month

Established in 1963, Older Americans Month (OAM) is celebrated every May. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), OAM is a time for us to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of older Americans, highlight important trends, and strengthen our commitment to honoring our older citizens.

Older Americans Month takes on an even more special and heightened meaning this year. On May 11, 2023, the federal Public Health Emergency which was declared in 2020 due to COVID expired. All of us at the Friendly Home are very pleased to be moving forward as we embrace life after the pandemic!

A few noteworthy milestones leading to this point:

  • March 13, 2020            Nursing homes across the country are abruptly closed to in-person visitation
  • March, 2021                 Limited in-person visitation resumes one year later with restrictions
  • June, 2021                   The “Essential Caregivers Act” is passed, empowering nursing home residents to designate compassionate caregivers who are permitted to visit their loved ones during any future public health emergencies
  • March, 2023                 Three long years later, masking within the Friendly Home becomes optional for Members, visitors and staff, and screening/testing is no longer required!

While we are committed to continually evaluating our practices and living with COVID as safely and reasonably as possible, we recognize the tremendous value of being together with those we love. This means spending time with family and friends in our Friendly Gift Shop, Café, and outdoor and indoor gathering areas. It means engaging our residents in meaningful and purposeful activities, such as Operation Paperback, a national volunteer network that collects books for those serving in the U.S. military at home and abroad. Our Members chose to participate in this community service project in honor of Older Americans Month. It means music, arts and crafts, baking, conversation, social hours, physically and mentally stimulating games and so much more! From a staff perspective, we are re-igniting the Friendly Home’s commitment to person-directed care through training and practice.

Throughout the month of May, and indeed every day, Team Friendly is devoted to demonstrating that friends care always – for our Members and for each other. Happy Older Americans Month to one and all!

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