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Hello Friends,

I hope you have been having a wonderful month; hard to believe May is almost over! May is one of my favorite months, as its Older Americans Month. Older Americans Month provides an opportunity to recognize older adults’ contributions and celebrate their vitality. It is also a reminder of the importance of supporting policies and initiatives that promote aging with dignity and respect.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is a great organization that leads the nation’s observance every May. As you may already know, the 2022 theme is Age My Way focusing on how older adults can stay in their homes and communities independently for as long as possible. It also allows us to explore what we may want out of life in our own journey in aging, leaning into the life lessons, diverse stories, and collective wisdom from all of those who have come before us.

A couple of ways Empowered Aging supports this mission is through our Friendly Visiting and Telephone Reassurance and Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs. Friendly Visiting works to combat loneliness and social isolation by encouraging engagement – building friendships and connecting with resources through weekly visits to ensure our clients, health, well-being, and a sense of community. Our Long-Term Care Ombudsman helps ensure that residents live free from abuse and neglect and receive quality care. Our ombudsmen also encourage residents to speak up and speak out for themselves and their fellow residents.

I can’t stress enough how older adults play vital, positive roles in our communities – as family members, friends, mentors, volunteers, civic leaders, members of the workforce, and more. Just as every person is unique, so too is how they age and choose to do it – and there is no “right” way. No matter what the month may be, I encourage you all to take steps to engage at every age. For more information about getting involved with Empowered Aging here in the Bay Area, visit www.EmpoweredAging.org.

I hope you will continue reading this month’s newsletter for more about how Empowering Aging is taking action this month. We will also welcome a new MSW Intern and share some upcoming event information, among other announcements.

Thank you so much to all of you for your hard work throughout our communities. If you or someone you know needs help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team by calling 925-685-2070. And if you know someone who should be receiving our content, please feel free to forward this email to them.

Best wishes,

Nicole Howell
Executive Director

Earlier this month, Governor Newsom shared an announcement proclaiming May as Older Californians Month. With the aging population in California continuing to grow, the state is taking steps to ensure that all residents can age with dignity and quality of life. By 2030, one in four Californians will be 60 or older, and the number of residents celebrating their 100th birthday is expected to increase. The state's Master Plan for Aging is a 10-year blueprint that outlines a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of aging Californians. The plan includes initiatives to improve access to health care and long-term care services, promote economic security, and support social engagement and community involvement. We second his call to action and urge you to join us in recognizing the invaluable contributions of our elders. Let's recommit to helping build a more equitable journey in aging for all who reside in our great state. Governor Newsom's complete statement on the initiative can be found here.

The Empowered Aging team is excited to share that Niloofar Jannesar will be joining our organization as the newest MSW Intern. Niloofar comes to us with an extensive background in working with children with learning disabilities and is passionate about bringing healing to people who’ve had traumatic experiences. Niloofar is in the third trimester of the MSW program at the University of the Pacific and plans to become a California State Certified Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

“We’re very excited to host Niloofar,” said MSW Internship Coordinator Diane Healy. “She comes to Empowered Aging with a great deal of experience and skills. We’re especially excited to expand our internship calendar and have a dedicated intern like Niloofar during the summer months now too.”

Empowered Aging is currently interviewing students for the 2022/2023 academic school year. If you are interested in working with the aging population or know someone who is and would like more information on our internship program, please get in touch with us.

As aging Americans begin to outnumber younger generations, the need for volunteers in elder communities is more critical than ever. Whether it's helping with groceries, providing transportation to doctors' appointments, or simply offering a listening ear, volunteers can make a big difference in the lives of seniors. In addition to improving the quality of life for elders, volunteering can also be a rewarding experience for the volunteers themselves.

At Empowered Aging our friendly visiting volunteers help seniors find peace, comfort, and stability in knowing they are not alone. One mission of our organization is to connect older adults at risk for social isolation with caring volunteers. Volunteers receive training on how to provide companionship and engagement through consistent weekly telephone calls, video conferencing, in-home visits, and more. Are you ready to make a difference, or know someone who may be a good fit? Feel free to forward this link. >> https://empoweredaging.org/friendly-visiting/.

Do you have an upcoming birthday or event? What about turning it into a fundraiser to support our senior and elder care industry? Any occasion can be an opportunity to support Empowered Aging, no matter what it is: a birthday, a workplace challenge, a movie night, or a sporting event. You can fundraise on Facebook with us here, or through our MightyCause donation page.

Together we can help aging Americans live their best life possible by working to combat ageism and promote individual and collective success. Your contribution helps us provide these valuable services all free of charge. Thank you for your support!