Celebrating Older Americans Month with the Old People Are Cool Relay

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Celebrating Older Americans Month with the Old People Are Cool Relay

Posted on May 12, 2023

In celebration of Older Americans Month, DC nursing homes and assisted living communities, along with the help of their staff, will physically and symbolically connect as a community in a city-wide relay event. This relay honors elders and especially those over the age of 100, celebrates the resilience and strength of those who live and work in senior living, reunites us as a community beyond our walls, and reminds us that we have more in common than that which has kept us apart. Each older American participating has a lifetime of wisdom to share.

This is the third year of the relay event, which was started to build community during Covid in a safe manner, thus it is held outdoors. The American Health Care Association awarded the event 2022 AHCA Program of the Year nationally for building community.  https://youtu.be/5kAZWTnfYMs.

Ms. Therell Smith, 105 years young and a native of Washington, DC, lives at Forest Hills of DC.  This is Ms. Smith’s third year as a centenarian in the relay event, and she will start the baton on it’s city-wide journey. When segregation prevented African American dancers from performing with notable dance companies, Ms. Smith founded the first African American ballet school in Washington, DC, to provide dance opportunities in her community. Senior living residents throughout the city will pass the baton to healthcare workers. The Run will close with Ms. Cherrie Neville, 77, Resident council President at Forest Hills of DC, receiving the baton from the last runner. Ms. Neville, of Michigan, taught elementary school, worked as a hairdresser, is an artist of paint, yarn, and other mediums. Above all, she is a timeless Elvis fan!  The residents living in our collective senior living communities have rich stories to tell and wisdom to share.

On Thursday, May 18, 2023, starting at 8am, the staff runner at Forest Hills of DC will carry the baton to the next senior living community and hand it over to the next senior living resident awaiting the baton. The second resident will hand the baton over to the next runner from that community and so on, throughout the District of Columbia. A total of 11 communities of residents and staff will participate.

Charles de Vilmorin, CEO and Co-Founder of Linked Senior is an avid long-distance runner who coordinates race logistics and runs in the event. Tina Sandri, CEO of Forest Hills of DC, coordinates the senior living community participants.

This year we are once again highlighting the fact that Old People Are Cool. The DC Council voted last week to approve an official DC Proclamation that May 2023 be designated Old People Are Cool Month. This supports our celebration of Older Americans Month, promotes positive aging notions, and combats ageism in our society. We invite and challenge all members of our greater communities in and out of senior living to find ways large and small to celebrate Older Americans in light of this resolution. (Reference: ANC3C Resolution 2023-CONSENT Old People Are Cool Recognition Resolution of 2023)

The order of the Old People Are Cool Relay stops in Washington, DC, are as follows:

  1. Forest Hills of DC, 4901 Connecticut Ave, NW
  2. Sunrise on Connecticut Avenue, 5111 Connecticut Ave, NW
  3. Knollwood Life Plan and Retirement Community, 6200 Oregon Ave, NW
  4. Forest Side of DC, 2701 Military Ave, NW
  5. Lisner Louise Dickson Hurt Home, 5425 Western Avenue, NW
  6. Grand Oaks, 5901 MacArthur Blvd, NW
  7. Serenity Rehabilitation and Health Center, 1380 Southern Ave, SE
  8. Unique Rehab and Health Center, 901 First Street, NW
  9. Jeanne Jugan Residence/Little Sisters of the Poor, 4200 Harewood Road, NE
  10. Carroll Manor, 725 Buchanan Street, NE
  11. Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home, 1818 Newton Street NW

Older Americans Month is celebrated each May, with the theme this year set as “Aging Unbound.” https://acl.gov/oam/2023/older-americans-month-2023

The run is sponsored by Forest Hills of DC (FHDC) https://foresthillsdc.org/,  Linked Senior https://www.linkedsenior.com/ , PositiveAging Sourcebook https://www.retirementlivingsourcebook.com/ and the District of Columbia Health Care Association (DCHCA) ( https://www.dchca.org/).

FHDC’s mission is to continually grow as a supportive community that inspires and engages seniors and their caregivers. For 133+ years, seniors have been served via assisted living, assisted living memory care, respite, CMS 5-star skilled nursing care, and rehabilitation services.

The mission of Linked Senior is to enhance life in senior living and to support person-centered care through life enrichment and dementia engagement using simple technology and non-drug therapy.

Positive Aging SourceBook was founded by Steve Gurney in 1990 to provide individuals, families, and professionals with the most comprehensive listing of every retirement community, assisted living, nursing and rehab center and home care option in the DC, Northern Virginia, and Suburban Maryland.

The DCHCA mission is to promote the ability of each member to operate in a cohesive way, through the work of the DCHCA, to develop, implement, educate, and assure the delivery of quality care to long term care consumers in a safe and secure environment.

For further information, contact Tina Sandri, CEO of Forest Hills of DC and Immediate Past Chair of DCHCA at 202-966-7623 or .