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NYS Senate Declared May 20th As Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day!

One of the issues I am most passionate about is older  people. I have had the great fortune of having had very special relationships with older people as I was growing up, people who gave me a lot of their time, their love, and their wisdom, at a time when my mind and my heart were so open to take it in. Despite the fact that I had no living grandparents, since all four were murdered in the Holocaust, and perhaps because I did not have living grandparents, I have appreciated so much the special bond that can be forged between young children and older people. I still believe that our elders are one of our most valued resources. Their life experiences and their perspective hold so much that we can learn from. Research supports the idea that with age comes wisdom, the ability to see multiple truths at the same time and think and feel in less “black and white” terms.

I feel that our ways of life have evolved to push older people to the margins, which leaves them more isolated and feeling irrelevant than I recall from my childhood. Older people experience many losses as a natural consequence of their entire cohort aging, ailing and passing away. As a result, the elderly are a vulnerable population, not only during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have a responsibility to make older people a more visible group among the other vulnerable populations and I am so happy that NYS Senate declared May 20 as Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day! It is one small step in the right direction!

                 Irit Felsen

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