February is National Senior Independence Month

Many don’t know but National Senior Independence Month is observed every year in February. It’s all about providing seniors in our communities the means to discover ways to live a dignified, happy and fulfilling life with the help of those around them. With age we all tend to become more dependent but there are ways we can continue to enjoy and live a fairly independent life with local senior centers and retirement organizations — those with the resources, information and like-minded

people in the local community.

Why a National Senior Independence Month?
First and foremost, National Senior Independence Month is a great time to make the elderly feel loved and appreciated. When we care for those in earlier generations, the future generations gain appreciation, empathy and respect.

Next, it’s a time to remind local administrative bodies that a senior citizen-focused lifestyle should be of concern, especially to accessibility of public spaces to the elderly. Simple changes to public infrastructure, such as adding elevators and ramps, can improve seniors’ quality of life, opening spaces to their daily lives. Dedicated medical care, extra protection by public safety professionals, and open, friendly accessible public spaces are fine first steps in creating a more senior-inclusive society. Retirement and senior centers are a wonderful way to build communities where senior citizens can participate, grow, meet like-minded people and share their interests, wisdom and concerns. All of us — especially seniors — need a strong sense of community to feel secure and happy.

Why is independence important to seniors?
Independence provides seniors a sense of belonging and purpose. It allows seniors to continue influencing the lives of their families, friends, and neighbors, while doing activities that bring them joy.

Why is National Senior Independence Month important to me?
It’s the opportunity to show you care — it’s a chance to get involved with and learn from the elderly members of our community. Dedication, love and interest can build a truly inclusive and fair society for all. When the younger members of our society witness us doing our part for seniors, they realize the value seniors add to the community, all while laying the groundwork for us to receive the same treatment in our later years.

How do seniors stay independent?
By staying active. A busy social life and involvement in day-to-day activities provide the planning and stimulation that adds to the life experience for seniors. Physical and mental “exercise” via outdoor activities, brain-engagement through games, puzzles and learning are important ways to grow independence. Spiritual involvement and study are other important components of keeping the elderly active and growing.

So, how do I observe National Senior Independence Month?
• Speak up. Ask your local governing body about senior-specific provisions in your area. If you see a need for improvements, make the case to improve for elderly independence.

• Talk with your older relatives. Visit the seniors in your life. Go on a trip with them, fix a family dinner of their favorite recipes, enjoy, and listen to their histories and stories. It’s important to show the elderly that they’re loved and cared for.

• Volunteer. Volunteer at senior citizen centers, retirement homes, and nursing homes throughout National Senior Independence Month. Spending time with the elderly members of the community can be a very rewarding experience.

Christian Care celebrates National Senior Independence Month
Christian Care Communities celebrates Senior Independence year-round, and we openly invite you to visit one of our statewide communities and learn more or get involved. We’re always looking for new and energetic volunteers to help us grow our mission of faith-based compassionate care. Contact Jamie Campbell at jamie.campbell@ccc1884.org for volunteer opportunities in one of our communities near you.

National Senior Independence Month is a great time for loved ones to help seniors make changes that increase quality of life. Do you have questions about the level of care you need or programs available at a senior community in your area? A Christian Care community provides the independence, programs and compassionate care many seniors are in search of and offers many independent living options from apartments and garden homes throughout Kentucky.