Each month throughout the year there are various days, weeks and month-long observances for causes, events, and professions that are important to our aging in place activities. We just finished the month of April which is designated “National Occupational Therapy Month” in recognition of the tremendous impact that occupational therapists have on the work we do to help keep people in their homes at various stages of life.
Now, we have entered the month of May, and this month has more important celebrations, notable days, events, and observances for aging in place professionals of any month throughout the year. Underlying the importance of this month, May is designated as “National Home Remodeling Month.” After all, this is what we do more than anything else as aging in place professionals – after evaluating how we can improve the homes that people live in, we remodel and renovate those dwellings to make them safer, more accessible, more comfortable, more convenient, and generally more enjoyable for them to occupy and use at various stages of life according to their specific needs and budgets.
We can describe what we do in many ways, and there are many of us helping people to remain in their homes over time, including designers, architects, durable medical equipment professionals, assistive technology specialist, occupational and physical therapists, other healthcare professionals, consultants, case managers, real estate professionals, property managers, insurance agents, and other non-construction-related pursuits. Still, what is the CAPS program all about if not remodeling and modifying homes for people to help them adapt and live more comfortably and safely as they age? People overwhelmingly want to continue living in their current homes as they age, and remodelers, contractors, handymen, and builders – working with the rest of us – help this become a reality for them.
May also is deemed “National Mobility Awareness Month,” “National Older Americans Month,” and “Building Safety Month.” These are important pieces of the overall aging in place picture. Accessibility, mobility, safety, are fall prevention are crucial areas of focus.
Other important cognitive, sensory, and mobility needs are highlighted by observances for “Better Hearing & Speech Month,” “National Stroke Awareness Month,” “ALS Awareness Month,” “Arthritis Awareness Month,” “World MS Awareness Day” on May 30, and “Healthy Vision Month.”
In healthcare, May includes “National Nurses Week” running May 6-12 (with Florence Nightingale’s Birthday remembered on May 12th), “National Emergency Medical Services Week” is May 15-21 (including all first responders), and “National Critical Care Awareness & Recognition Month.””National Senior Health & Fitness Day” on May 25th emphasizes the importance of remaining active and fighting certain progressive and cognitive conditions with physical activity and exercise.
No matter which day of May rolls around on the calendar, it acknowledges important activities and contributions of professionals like us who provide aging in place services to the general population – and seniors more specifically
There could be – and likely are – even more days and weeks that are observed and celebrated, possibly lesser known or acclaimed, throughout the month of May. The dates and observances mentioned are the most commonly cited ones.
The other eleven months have their share of observances that are important for us to note and remember also, but May has more than any other that are specific to our industry. Let’s keep these dates in mind as we work with and interact with our clients and their families. We can incorporate them into our marketing and educational messages and use them to help spread and underscore the importance of the work we provide – to help raise awareness.
Let’s have a great month of May as we note and participate in the many special aging in place dates that help to call attention to the important work that we do. Spring is in full swing, and people naturally are thinking of remodeling, cleaning, and organizing their homes as well as getting back to outside activities like gardening, walking, biking, and other forms of exercise.