Every May, the nation celebrates Older Americans Month, a time to honor the contributions older Americans make to our country through their strength, wisdom, compassion, volunteerism, and resilience. This year's theme, "Communities of Strength," highlights the importance and power of engagement and connection in the lives of older adults, and the ability of that power to reach out across generations. May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to recognize the prevalence of mental illness, add our support to those with mental health conditions, and commit to fighting the stigma that keeps so many of our friends, family members, and neighbors from living the full lives they deserve.
At the JFNA Center on Aging and Trauma, a project of the Holocaust Survivor Initiative, we appreciate the confluence of these two months, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The past year has tragically highlighted the devastating effects of social isolation on the mental and physical health of older adults, and at the same time demonstrated the perseverance and resilience of older adults and their ability to thrive and grow even in the hardest of circumstances.
We proudly support the nation's network of aging services providers and their efforts to provide Person-Centered, Trauma-Informed Care. We thank these agencies, service professionals, and family caregivers for all they do to promote the mental and physical health of older adults throughout their communities.
The JFNA Center on Aging and Trauma is excited to announce a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for innovations in PCTI care, which will be launched shortly. For more information, please click here. The link currently displays a prior RFP as an example, but this link will be updated shortly with the current application materials, deadlines, and dates for informational phone calls.
In the meantime, check out the resources below to learn more about trauma, older adults, and JFNA's innovative support services model for older adult trauma survivors. Included below are materials on Older Americans Month and the Commit to Connect campaign from the U.S. Administration for Community Living.
Learn About Aging and Trauma
As many as 90%* of adults have experienced a traumatic event in their lifetime. Educating yourself and your colleagues about aging and trauma is an important step in improving the lives of older adults and their families.
Learn About PCTI Care
Person-Centered, Trauma-Informed (PCTI) care is a holistic approach to service provision infusing knowledge of trauma into programs and procedures to promote the mental health, physical health, and overall well-being of clients. Learn more about how to make your organization, department, or individual practice more PCTI.
Learn About Older Americans Month and ACL's Commit to Connect Campaign
Social isolation and loneliness can have a devastating impact on our health and well-being. Reduce social isolation among older Americans and improve mental health outcomes by making a commitment to connect with neighbors, friends, family, and community members.
*Kilpatrick, et al. (2013). National estimates of exposure to traumatic events and PTSD prevalence using DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 26(5)