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2 reasons to celebrate May

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May is a lovely month especially when we have a month like what we have had so far in beautiful Western Washington.  But May’s beauty doesn’t stop with the weather.  This month is Older Americans Month and to top it off it is also National Geriatric Care Manager month.  Since we have National months, weeks and days for everything from peanut butter to barbecue to bikes (and who wouldn’t want to celebrate those exceptional things), you might be tempted to write off that recognition but I am asking you to reconsider.

Older Americans Month: In 1963, when Older Americans Month first came into being only 17 million Americans reached their 65th birthday, in 2012 that number was 43.1 million.  At the time that John F. Kennedy first recognized older Americans, the month was known as Senior Citizens Month.  Every president since JFK has recognized the month as a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country.  It was in 1980 that President Jimmy Carter changed the name to Older Americans Month.

Each year, there is a focus on some senior-related topic to help those older Americans continue to live vital active lives.  This year the focus is on falls prevention.  Unintentional injuries to people 65 and over result in at least 6 million medically treated injuries and more than 30,000 deaths every year, according to the Administration for Community Living (ACL).  The ACL has created a poster to help seniors live safer lives.  You can find that poster here.

You can read stories about falls prevention here:

As I mentioned above, May is also National Geriatric Care Manager Month.  I don’t have a long list of Geriatric Care Managers that I personally know but I do know two.  Those two are Dietra Clayton and Janessa Shagena.  Why should we celebrate people who just do their jobs?  The reality is that some jobs aren’t just jobs to the people who perform them.  Clayton and Shagena have worked with seniors and people with disabilities for years.  They have a real heart for the individuals they are trying to help and a sincere frustration with the people who step in the path of that help.  They both light up when they talk about their clients.

They love to help families with the difficulties that arise when trying to provide the best care for their loved ones.   They can help clients with everything from finding housing options to providing a support system for families undergoing major changes due to a sudden health crisis.  They understand that finding the best help isn’t just a matter of writing a check but involves finding resources that meet the specific needs of that particular individual and his or her family and work to provide that individual attention.

Related stories:

If you are considering hiring a Geriatric Care Manager, contact Better Care Management and talk to either Clayton or Shagena.


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