Friday, May 5, 2017

"More Reasons May Is An Important Month For Aging In Place"

We were talking in yesterday's post about the month of May and the importance it has for aging in place professionals because of the many commemorations and observances - in addition to days like Cinco de Mayo (today) and the Kentucky Derby (tomorrow).

Tomorrow, as we also noted yesterday, kicks off "National Nurses Week," culminating in the celebration of Florence Nightingale's Birthday on Friday, May 12. Another type of health care is also recognized in May as "National Critical Care Awareness & Recognition Month."

May is a special month for many progressive based conditions. Four such ailments are the focus on observances in May (ALS, arthritis, strokes, and MS). One of the most severe progressive diseases that originally was observed in Yankee baseball great Lou Gehrig is ALS, and May is "ALS Awareness Month."

Another progressive ailment that is affecting more people each year is joint inflammation and other joint conditions. May is "Arthritis Awareness Month." It is estimated that one-in-every-six Americans suffers from the effects of arthritis, and this number is growing.

Strokes affect many people. As a matter of fact, strokes are the third leading cause of death in America, with more than 140,000 people succumbing annually from strokes. Stroke also is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with some 795,000 people afflicted each year.

May 25 is known as "National MS Awareness Day."

Of course, May is "National Remodeling Month," and this gives us an entire month to focus on the activities and solutions we provide to help people age in place in their current homes more successfully. It's "Building Safety Month" also, as we noted before.

In addition to the service sector, the progressive conditions, and the building emphasis, mobility and sensory concerns are part of the May observances. As we noted yesterday, May is "National Mobility Awareness Month" and "Better Hearing & Speech Month." It's also "Healthy Vision Month."

Then, May has a focus on senior Americans and their general well-being. First, it's "National Older Americans Month" - a tribute to seniors, their contributions to society, their needs as they are aging, and how we can help them - especially with aging in place concerns and solutions.

May 25 also is "National Senior Health & Fitness Day" - calling attention to the importance of maintaining sound physical and mental health as we age. Recent evidence is telling us that physical activity and exercise is a very important, and previously under-emphasized, aspect of maintaining good cognitive health and possibly preventing Alzheimer's disease. It certainly can forestall or lessen its impact.

While each month of the year has special events, commemorations, and observances to make a historical event or occurrence, to promote something for the common good or understanding of the citizenry, or to call attention to various causes, the month of May is replete with such days, weeks, and month-long notices.

As aging in place professionals, it is interesting just how many of the commonly observed or prominent dates in this month directly affect or focus on the type or work we are doing or the people we are working with to achieve solutions. May is an extremely important month for us.

Other months have observances focusing on cognitive, sensory, mobility, fitness, and various professions, but May has more than any other.

As we are settling into springtime and enjoying all that the fine weather and the fresh breezes have to offer - especially after a winter of being inside so much and before the heat of the summer - let's take time to remember the many dates that May has designated. This will help us focus on our services, inspire us to become even more dedicated to the work at hand, and help us to deliver our message to others.
  
____________

Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-Master Instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.