May is Older Americans Month, set aside to recognize, honor, and appreciate the elders in our lives. Whether you care for an aging loved one or work in an elder care setting, this month should remind you to celebrate the many rewards you're given in exchange for what you do.

According to the Administration on Aging, this year's theme is "Age Strong! Live Long!"  Many senior centers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and other elder care providers will be hosting events to show their appreciation for the older generation.

Here are a few ideas facilities can use to celebrate Older Americans Month:

  • Host a free blood pressure, stroke, or memory screening
  • Provide a picnic lunch or special meal for residents
  • Choose a resident each day and highlight his or her lifetime achievements
  • Take a few residents on a group outing to the movies, park, or zoo
  • Start a group exercise class with modifications for different ability levels
  • Ask the residents in your facility to share how they've remained strong throughout the years (family? exercise? hobbies?)
  • Coordinate a health fair or festival, inviting local vendors to share their services and ideas to help seniors stay strong and healthy
  • Invite a local junior high school class to participate in a "senior prom" or "sock hop"