May 3, 2024

Health Awareness: Older Americans

The Administration for Community Living (ACL), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, designated May as Older Americans Month. This year's theme, Powered by Connection, highlights the importance of social connections and positive relationships to one's health and well-being. In order to promote greater social connectedness, ACL recommends helping older adults stay connected to their communities and supporting them with the necessary resources to help them thrive. This includes providing information on volunteer opportunities to help them engage with others, directing older adults to transportation services which can be an obstacle in maintaining relationships, and sharing information on how meaningful relationships with family, friends, and neighbors plays a part in emotional, mental, and physical health.

The National Institute on Aging, a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, provides information and resources on a variety of health topics for older adults such as loneliness and social isolation with tips to encourage their engagement with individuals of all ages and to maintain involvement in their communities.

UW Resources for Students and Health Providers

Northwest Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Center strives to improve the primary care of older adults in the Pacific Northwest by educating patients and their families on dementias and other gerontological health issues and by offering inter-professional training programs for health providers, faculty, and students.


Health Sciences Library’s Gerontology eBooks list.


Conscious Aging: Empowering Strategies for Working with Elders (40 min. video, 2017). A training video for therapists and counselors working with the elderly. The subject discusses loneliness and the difficulties surrounding fewer social connections as they age.


Strengthening the Workforce to Support Community Living and Participation for Older Adults and Individuals with Disabilities: Proceedings of a Workshop (2017). Participants aimed to identify how the health care workforce can be strengthened to support both community living and community participation for adults with disabilities and older adults.

Additional Resources

Frye Art Museum’s Creative Aging Programs present both in-person and online art-centered activities for older adults such as Alzheimer’s Café at UW Memory and Brain Wellness Center’s The Memory Hub.


Age Wise King County offers a library of articles with older adult-centered topics including fall prevention, memory issues, Medicare & Medicaid, and older adult centers.


Seattle Public Library’s Resources for Adults 50+ lists local organizations aiding older adults in a variety of areas including consumer protection, LGBTQIA, assistive technology, and lifelong learning.


Aging and Disability Services provides information for veterans, caregivers, and older adults with disabilities, including population data, area plans, a video portal, and a calendar of local events for older Seattleites and King County community members.


Read online article: The Cities Designing Playgrounds for the Elderly (BBC News, Oct. 28, 2019)


  Health Care Providers: Talk to Older Adults About Physical Activity. Office of Disease and Prevention and Health Promotion fact sheet.



Image credit:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living. (2024). Older Americans Month 2024. Retrieved May 2nd, 2024 from