September is the month during which we recognize aging adults. With special dates honoring grandparents, older workers and fall prevention, the entire month is dedicated to the many aspects of healthy aging. Healthy Aging Month is a national health initiative established more than 15 years ago to bring awareness of the benefits of caring not only for our aging bodies, but also focusing on the positive mental, social and financial aspects of aging.
The DES Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) works with several community partners to assist aging adults in these areas so they can remain healthy, productive citizens.
The Area Agencies on Aging coordinates workshops for individuals with ongoing health problems. The Healthy Living (Chronic Disease Self-Management Program) workshops provide information on how to manage those problems more effectively.
Grandparents Day is September 11th, and many grandparents are raising grandchildren. The DAAS Family Caregiver Support Program offers five direct services to best meet caregivers' needs.
According to the National Council on Aging, and various other groups, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, falls send more elderly patients to emergency rooms than any other injury. It's the major cause of hip fractures, and is responsible for more than half of all fatal head injuries. National Fall Prevention Awareness Day is September 22nd-the first day of fall, of course! The Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition, a DAAS community partner, provides helpful tips, information and resources on awareness and fall prevention.
The American worker is getting older. By 2020, it's estimated that individuals 55 and over will make up 25 percent of the U.S. civilian labor force. That number's up from only 13 percent in 2000. National Employ Older Workers Week, September 18-24, honors older workers and their vital role in the workforce. The DAAS Senior Community Service Employment Program helps keep low-income individuals 55 and over employed, and provides resources to help older Americans learn new skills to compete in today's job market.
To learn more about the Division of Aging and Adult Services, please visit our website for more information.
By Connie Weber