TEXAS COUNCIL for
DEVELOPMENTAL
DISABILITIES

TCDD Celebrates Older Americans Month

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Older Americans Month takes place every May to recognize the positive role older adults play in our communities as family members, friends, mentors, volunteers, civic leaders, members of the workforce, and more. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) and state councils on developmental disabilities (DD) across the country, including TCDD, lead the celebration of Older Americans Month each year.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Age My Way,” which focuses on how older adults can age in their communities, living independently for as long as possible and participating in ways they choose. While these elements will look different for each person, here are several things the ACL encourages everyone to consider:

  • Planning: Think about what you will need and want in the future, from home and community-based services to community activities that interest you.
  • Engagement: Remain involved and contribute to your community through work, volunteer, and civic participation opportunities.
  • Access: Make home improvements and modifications, use assistive technologies, and customize supports to help you better age in place.
  • Connection: Maintain social activities and relationships to combat social isolation and stay connected to your community.
     

“Age My Way” is an essential component in supporting older adults with DD and their caregivers in Texas. Today, people with DD live longer than previous generations. As they age, older adults with DD face challenges in various aspects of their lives, including health, retirement, finances, mobility, and community involvement. More people with DD today also outlive their parents, who are often their primary caregivers.

With a growing number of Texans who are aging with DD, our system will need to change the way it does business. TCDD supports two grant projects that are developing new and innovative programs for older adults with DD and their caregivers:

  • The Alamo Area Council of Governments is spearheading a project in the San Antonio area to holistically address the health and well-being of older adults with DD and their caregivers. The project provides classes and other educational resources to meet wide-ranging nutrition, fitness, and wellness needs. Through partnerships with community organizations, the project offers training on financial empowerment, tax preparation, schooling, utility assistance, and independent living.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston is developing a statewide network of virtual health centers and Medicaid health homes that will be supported by telehealth. This project addresses barriers to health care for older adults with DD and their caregivers, including limited access to medical professionals who are trained to diagnose and manage the geriatric health care needs of older adults with DD.
     

We invite you to join the celebration of Older Americans Month this May. You can find more information, resources, and activity ideas on the ACL’s official Older Americans Month website. You can also join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #OlderAmericansMonth.

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