Press Release – Celebrating Older Americans Month: Powered by Connection

May 9, 2024

Established in 1963, Older Americans Month (OAM) is celebrated every May. Led by a federal agency, the Administration for Community Living (ACL), OAM is a time to recognize older Americans’ contributions, highlight aging trends, and reaffirm commitments to serving the older adults in our communities.

This year’s theme, “Powered by Connection,” focuses on the profound impact that meaningful connections have on the well-being and health of older adults — a relationship underscored by the U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community.

Social connections are important to combat social isolation, both forging new bonds and strengthening existing ones.

How can community groups, businesses, and organizations celebrate OAM?

  • Spread the word about the mental, physical, and emotional health benefits of social connection through professional and personal networks.
  • Encourage social media followers to share their thoughts and stories of connection using hashtag #PoweredByConnection to inspire and uplift.
  • Promote opportunities to engage, like cultural activities, recreational programs, and interactive virtual events.
  • Connect older adults with local services, such as counseling, that can help them overcome obstacles to meaningful relationships and access to support systems.
  • Host connection-centric events or programs where older adults can serve as mentors to peers, younger adults, or youths.

What can individuals do to connect?

  • Invite more connection into your life by finding a new passion, joining a social club, taking a class, or trying new activities in your community.
  • Stay engaged in your community by giving back through volunteering, working, teaching, or mentoring. Learn more about volunteer opportunities at Aging & Long Term Care: Volunteer – Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern Washington (
  • Invest time with people to build new relationships and discover deeper connections with your family, friends, colleagues, or neighbors.

Reflecting on this year’s theme of “Powered by Connection”, we invited members of our Planning and Management Council to share their thoughts.

“I feel social connection are crucial to my wellbeing, as one can be surrounded by people, but still feel lonely. By getting involved in League of Women Voters, AARP, the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA), YMCA’s Healthy Aging and Silver Sneakers, Spokane Dementia Action Team, and the Retired Public Employees Coalition, I have made new friends and learned a lot. I feel by joining a group based on individual interests/hobbies, one can make new friends.” – Aruna, representing Spokane County

“I love connecting with other people and listening to their ideas and thoughts. I continue to learn from all the people I meet, and the best part is how much I get back from being a “helper.” We live 12 miles from our very small down and the chance to interact with others, especially this dynamic group of people, is something I look forward to each month.” – Karen, representing Ferry County

“I learned about the PMC from a request for a volunteer to represent Whitman County on it in spring of 2016.  There was no representation from Whitman County at that time and I wanted to be sure that the services the PMC offered through its five-county region were being offered in Whitman County.  I was appointed by the Whitman County Commissioners at that time for a three-year term and have served on it through several reappointments.

I did not know other PMC members when I joined but have since made wonderful precious friendships on the PMC, both male and female, and they have enriched my life without measure.

I love to laugh and think that humor matters to keep us together and mentally refreshed.  The members of the PMC are caring, involved, compassionate members of many communities in the region and to learn about their lives, their work for their communities, just inspires and bolsters me.  And when I can share humor over email or at meetings, I am more whole.

Get out of your house and your routine.  There is a world that wants your experience, your help, your ideas, and your caring heart.  Volunteer, help a neighbor, share an idea that involves connection.  We are happiest and we are the best we can be when we are connected, solving problems, helping make our communities stronger.” – Karen, representing Whitman County

“I enjoy connecting with people on the PMC who love to serve and working on projects that need urgent and/or sustaining attention to accomplish their purposes. Being in the context keeps me tuned in to trends and how policies are playing out in the real world. I love all the volunteer and professional ALTCEW colleagues I have met and want to spend more time with them!” – Martha, representing Spokane County

For more information, visit the official OAM website and follow ACL on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #OlderAmericansMonth.