Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

Celebrating Older Americans Month: Powered by Connection

DAYTON — Established in the United States in 1963, Older Americans Month is celebrated every May. The Administration for Community Living (ACL), a federal agency, leads the county’s celebration recognizing older Americans’ contributions and recommitting efforts in serving the older adults in our communities.

This year’s theme, “Powered by Connection,” focuses on the profound impact that meaningful connections have on the well-being and health of older adults – a relationship underscored by the U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on the healing effects of social connection and community.

“It’s not just about having someone to chat with,” said Stephanie Carpenter, a member of Southeast Washington Aging & Long-Term Care’s Advisory Council. “It’s about the transformative potential of community engagement in enhancing mental, physical, and emotional well-being.”

Recognizing and nurturing the role that connectedness plays, we can mitigate issues like loneliness, ultimately promoting health aging for more Americans added Carpenter.

How can community groups, business, and organizations mark Older Americans Month?

• Spread the word about the mental, physical, and emotional health benefits of social connection through professional and personal networks.

• Encourage social media followers to share their thoughts and stories of connection using hashtag #PoweredByConnection to inspire and uplift.

• Promote opportunities to engage, like cultural activities, recreational programs, and interactive virtual events.

• Connect older adults with local services, such as counseling, that can help them overcome obstacles to meaningful relationships and access to support systems.

• Host connection-centric events or programs where older adults can serve as mentors to peers, younger adults, or youths.

What can individuals do to connect?

• Invite more connection into your life by finding a new passion, joining a social club, taking a class, or trying new activities in your community.

• Stay engaged in your community by giving back through volunteering, working, teaching, or mentoring.

• Invest time with people to build new relationships and discover deeper connections with your family, friends, colleagues, or neighbors.

Here are local organizations and opportunities community members can contact:

• Dayton Senior Center - 403 E Patit Street, Dayton. Phone (509) - 382-2006. Open every Tues/Thurs, doors open’s at 11:00 am, Lunch is served at 12:00, events typically start at 1 p.m.

• Enhanced Fitness Class – 110 S. 3rd St, Dayton

• Senior fitness classes with Wendy Engblom every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9-10 a.m.

• Dayton Hospital Auxillary - Volunteer opportunities

• Gift shop at Dayton General Hospital Bake sale fund raiser.

Aging and Long-Term Care (ALTC) Resource Center – 410 E Main St A, Dayton, Wash., (509) 382-4787

Volunteer Opportunities:

Join the ALTC Advisory Council - For information contact Zella Powers, Betty Keller or Stephanie Carpenter

Columbia County District Library - 111 S 3rd St, Dayton

Liberty Theater - 344 E Main St, Dayton

Columbia County Health System – 1012 S 3rd St, Dayton

Rivers Walk Assisted Living – 910 S 3rd St,

Dayton Meals and Wheels - Inquire at Senior Center

American Legion, Lions Club, Kiwanis Club

Columbia County Fair Committee

For more information, visit the official OAM website at Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #OlderAmericansMonth.

Dayton Senior Center is a wonderful resource that offers meals and events that benefit our community's seniors.

Open every Tuesday and Thursday, doors open’s at 11:00 am, lunch is served at noon, and events typically start at 1 p.m.

Scheduled events:

First Tuesdays

Health Education workshops.

Second Tuesdays – Public Senior Center meeting

Third Tuesdays – Cards, games, and puzzles

Fourth Tuesdays – TBD event or presentation

First Thursdays – Free Blood Pressure check

Second Thursdays – Music and sing-a long, plus monthly birthday celebration.

Third Thursdays – TBD presentation or event

Fourth Thursdays – Bingo

403 E Patit Street, Dayton. Phone (509) - 382-2006


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