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The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is pleased to announce that the theme of Older Americans Month (OAM) 2021 is Communities of Strength. Older adults have built resilience and strength over their lives through successes, failures, joys, and difficulties. Their stories and contributions help to support and inspire others.

In May, ACL will celebrate the strength of older adults and the Aging Network, with special emphasis on the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities.

There are many things we all can do to nurture ourselves, reinforce our strength, and continue to thrive. Connecting with others is one of the most important—it plays a vital role in our health and well-being, and in that of our communities.

From finding joy in small things and sharing our stories, to looking at the big picture and giving to others, ACL will promote the ways we are connected and strong. Join us in encouraging people of all ages to celebrate their communities and community members.

As an intern at JFCS, I have had the privilege of interacting with our senior clients during the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout a period of isolation, uncertainty, and fear, I have seen firsthand the resilience and positivity of older Americans. Whether I was assisting Senior Outreach Service (SOS) participants with the COVID vaccine pre-registration process, forming bonds with the Holocaust survivors through weekly check-in calls and Café Europa Zoom events, or delivering groceries to Healthy@Home clients, I have appreciated the opportunity to connect with older adults and learn about their life stories. My time at JFCS has taught me that older adults shape the communities they belong to by contributing wisdom, gratitude, and strength to those around them. As a young adult, I have benefited greatly from my relationships with JFCS’ older clients and will apply the lessons I have learned to my future career and personal life. This Older Americans Month, let us celebrate the invaluable role that older adults play in our communities.

Emmanuelle Farrell, MSW Intern