By Nicole Long, CEO of OCES

May is Older Americans Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions that older adults make in our community. Did you know? Massachusetts has more residents over 60 than residents younger than 20 years old.

There are so many ways that older adults are involved in and contribute to our community.
Many older adults stay active and connect with others by participating in activities and events through their local senior center. There are also many who serve as mentors or volunteers at their church or other organizations.

Did you know that Old Colony Elder Services (OCES) has hundreds of volunteers? Many of our volunteers are older adults who help to support individuals in need through programs such as Meals on Wheels and the Money Management Program. Older adult volunteers also help Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Plymouth Public Schools, and other local agencies such as Food Banks and Veterans Services, through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Plymouth County. RSVP is part of the AmeriCorps Seniors network, which is the federal agency for volunteering, service, and civic engagement.

Older adults provide support and inspiration to others. Learning new things, being creative, and engaging in new activities not only builds knowledge and experience, it inspires individuals of all ages. Seniors are an incredible source of information and learned experiences and are an important link to our past and to history on the whole.

It is to our benefit that older adults are so often willing to impart their stories of difficulties and successes, along with the important lessons they have learned over the years. By sharing their life-changing experiences, knowledge, and day-to-day stories, they provide the wisdom and connection that helps to better prepare us for the future.

Staying connected to others within the community and sharing their time, knowledge and experiences are all ways that older people contribute to and strengthen the fabric of our society. This month, join us in recognizing and celebrating their valuable contributions and the important role they have in all of our lives.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (2023.) Age-Friendly Massachusetts.