When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued multiple Executive Orders regarding the threat and mitigation of COVID-19 in March 2020, the coronavirus was already spreading rapidly in Miami-Dade County, and soon after, throughout the Tampa Bay area, our state and across our nation. Restrictions were enacted and shelter-in-place precautions were mandated to help mitigate the transmission of this deadly virus.
These efforts impacted the lives of everyone, but most especially seniors. I know this first-hand, because I received many inquiries from family members for in-home care to seniors in Clearwater who needed assistance and engagement while isolating.
May is Older Americans Month, and in 2020, seniors did not receive the recognition they so rightfully deserved because of the virus. Thankfully, this is not the case in 2021!
On May 3, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a White House Proclamation that began by stating, “During Older Americans Month, we celebrate older Americans and the key role they play in sharing the wisdom and experience that inform today’s decisions and actions, and fostering the connection and engagement that build strong, resilient communities. And, we recognize our responsibility to ensure that every American has the opportunity to age with dignity.”
The White House Proclamation continued, “The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed tremendous hardships on our Nation’s older Americans. Older adults — particularly those from communities of color — have comprised the majority of deaths from COVID-19, with more than 80 percent of all deaths to date occurring in persons 65 and older. Many older Americans have also suffered extreme social isolation from being separated from friends, family, and community resources throughout the pandemic. In spite of this, older Americans have stepped up to support their families, friends, and neighbors. They are among our essential workers, volunteers, and donors, bolstering their communities and inspiring others to do the same. I am committed to ensuring older adults are central in our country’s recovery efforts. “
It was also on May 3rd, Gov. DeSantis lifted all of the COVID restrictions set forth in March 2020, so we could begin transitioning back to “normal” life, whatever that looks like for us now, with or without COVID vaccinations.
“Older adults have built resilience and strength over their lives through successes, failures, joys, and difficulties. Their stories and contributions help to support and inspire others. This OAM, we will celebrate the strength of older adults and the Aging Network, with special emphasis on the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities,” says the Administration for Community Living.
I, too, believe it is very important we create a community of awareness about the historical treasures that are our older Americans, in May and year-round.
“The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas pays tribute to seniors each year during the month of May and affirms the skills and accomplishments of the older Americans residing in Pasco and Pinellas Counties,” according to the Department of Elder Affairs in Florida.
I’m grateful we have the opportunity to celebrate our seniors as Communities of Strength this year. It’s been a tough one, and the strength and resilience of our seniors in Clearwater and surrounding areas have been phenomenal!
Of course, I realize there are seniors with underlying health issues or conditions of aging that may limit their ability to get back to life safely. For these seniors, I am happy to offer a FREE Consultation to discuss specific needs and create a personalized, comprehensive care plan to help improve their quality of life through wellness calls, companionship, homemaking assistance and more.
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for the fifth consecutive year: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539
Administration for Community Living
Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas
Department of Elder Affairs in Florida