In tough times, communities find strength in people — and people find strength in their communities. In the past year, we’ve seen this time and again in Faribault as friends, neighbors, and businesses have found new ways to support each other.

When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. Then a meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to “Older Americans Month” (OAM). Since then May continues to be celebrated as Older American’s Month.

This year’s theme is Communities of Strength, recognizing the important role older adults play in creating the connections that build strong, resilient communities. Buckham West will celebrate OAM by encouraging community members to share their experiences. Here are some ways to share and connect:

Look for joy in the everyday: Celebrate small moments and ordinary pleasures by taking time to recognize them. Start a gratitude journal and share it with others via social media, or call a friend or family member to share a happy moment or to say thank you.

Reach out to neighbors: Even if you can’t get together in person right now, you can still connect with your neighbors. Leave a small gift on their doorstep, offer to help with outdoor chores, or deliver a home cooked meal.

Build new skills: Learning something new allows us to practice overcoming challenges. Take an art course online or try a socially distanced outdoor movement class to enjoy learning with others in your community. Have a skill to share? Find an opportunity to teach someone, even casually.

Share your story: There’s a reason storytelling is a time-honored activity. Hearing how others experience the world helps us grow. Interviewing family, friends, and neighbors can open up new conversations and strengthen our connections.

When people of different ages, backgrounds, abilities, and talents share experiences — through action, story, or service — we help build strong communities. And that’s something to celebrate!

Mother’s Day ideas

Fashions on Central, Buckham West’s gently-used clothing store, has great items for Mother’s Day. Don’t you think Mom would like a new purse, jewelry or summer top? How about a jacket, new capris or a gift certificate? The best part about shopping at Fashions on Central is that the prices are so low; you’ll have money left over to buy something for yourself.

Fashions on Central is now fully open after a COVID-modified schedule for the past year. You can now get great deals on gently-used clothing for men and women Tuesdays-Saturdays between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store is located at 325 Central Ave. in downtown Faribault. All proceeds from sales at Fashions on Central go to benefit the operations of Buckham West.

Services available

Buckham West continues to add services back into its schedule with monthly, professional consultation opportunities for Faribault’s older adults. Please call for appointments.

• On the first Tuesday of each month will be an opportunity for you to talk to a representative from Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN). NHN is a regional non-profit organization that offers services like home repairs, yard work, housework, transportation and more to Faribault’s older residents.

• On the second Tuesday of each month Buckham West hosts a trained health insurance counselor to assist individuals with any health insurance and Medicare questions.

• Southern MN Regional Legal Services (SMRLS) will be available for a virtual meeting on the fourth Tuesday of each month to discuss and begin the intake process on various civil legal situations that you might have. In order to meet with a SMRLS staff member you must be a low-income senior or person with disability and live in the SMRLS service area.

Reminders:

• Our coffee shop is now open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Curbside Pickup Meal- For more information please call the kitchen at 332-7680 or Buckham West at 332-7357. You can view the latest menu on the Buckham West website at buckhamwest.org and click the Senior Dining tab at the top.


Mona Kaiser is executive director of Buckham West, Faribault’s senior center.

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