Every May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. The theme for 2021 is "Communities of Strength."

OAM Masthead 2021

In tough times, communities find strength in people—and people find strength in their communities. In the past year, we've seen this time and again as friends, neighbors, and businesses have found new ways to support each other.

In our community, older adults are a key source of this strength. Their experiences, successes, and difficulties have built resilience that helps them to face new challenges. When communities tap into this, they become stronger too.

Strength is built and shown not only by bold acts, but also in the small ones of day-to-day life—a conversation shared with a friend, working in the garden, trying a new recipe, or taking time for a cup of tea on a busy day. And when we share these activities with others, even virtually or by telling about the experience later, we help them build resilience too.

This year, we will celebrate OAM by encouraging grantees and participants to share some of their experiences. Together, we can find strength and create a stronger future. Here are some ways to share and connect:

  • Look for joy in the everyday: Celebrate small moments and ordinary pleasures by taking time to recognize them. Start a gratitude journal and share it with others via social media, or call a friend or family member to share a happy moment or to say thank you.
  • Reach out to neighbors: Even if you can't get together in person right now, you can still connect with your neighbors. Leave a small gift on their doorstep, offer to help with outdoor chores, or deliver a homecooked meal.
  • Build new skills: Learning something new allows us to practice overcoming challenges. Take an art course online or try a socially distanced outdoor movement class to enjoy learning with others in your community. Have a skill to share? Find an opportunity to teach someone, even casually.
  • Share your story: There's a reason storytelling is a time-honored activity. Hearing how others experience the world helps us grow. Interviewing family, friends, and neighbors can open up new conversations and strengthen our connections.

  • When people of different ages, backgrounds, abilities, and talents share experiences through action, story, or service, we help build strong communities. And that's something to celebrate!

    Please join us and your fellow SCSEP grantees in strengthening our community. If you were interested in promoting Older Americans Month, the ACL has materials available on its Web site that are free to use, including logos, posters, and similar items.

    Similarly, if you have a story to share, we would be happy to link to it on this page. Please send any stories to the SCSEP TA mailbox at: SCSEPTechnicalAssistance@dol.gov.