This May highlights “Powered by Connection”, the profound impact social connections have for older adults.

(Hartford, CT) – This May, the Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services joins the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in celebrating Older Americans Month. Established in 1963, Older Americans Month is celebrated every year as a time to recognize older Americans' contributions, highlight aging trends, and reaffirm commitments to serving the older adults in our communities.

The 2024 theme, Powered by Connection, recognizes the profound impact that meaningful relationships and social connections have on our health and well-being. This a relationship underscored by the U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community.

“This is a reminder to all of us that connection matters,” said Commissioner Amy Porter. “It's about the way meaningful community engagement boosts mental, physical, and emotional well-being for all of us, particularly older adults.”

Aging and Disability Services ensures that Connecticut’s older residents have access to the supportive services necessary to live with dignity, security, and independence. Within the agency, the Bureau of Aging (State Unit on Aging) works closely with aging services network partners to provide these services. This network includes Connecticut’s five area agencies on aging, municipal agents for the elderly, senior centers, and many others who provide services to older adults.

Contact aging.sda@ct.gov for more information.



This March highlights the profound relationship between food and social connection with the theme “Connection in Every Bite”

(Hartford, CT) – This March, Connecticut Aging and Disability Services joins the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and senior nutrition service providers across the country in celebrating the anniversary of the national Senior Nutrition Program.

Since 1972, the Senior Nutrition Program (also known as the Elderly Nutrition Program) has supported nutrition services for older adults. Funded by the Older Americans Act, local senior nutrition programs in partnership with Area Agencies on Aging, serve as hubs for older adults (60 and older) to access nutritious meals and other vital  services that strengthen social connections and promote health and well-being.

The 2024 theme, Connection in Every Bite, highlights one of the most important aspects of the Senior Nutrition Program: the profound relationship between food and social connection. When local nutrition programs serve and build their communities through meals and fellowship, they provide a powerful reminder that the act of coming together over a meal transcends sustenance — it fosters a sense of belonging, contributes to the health of participants, and creates an opportunity for connection in every bite. 

“While people of any age can and do experience social isolation, some groups face disproportionate barriers to connecting with others,” Commissioner Amy Porter said. ”We know that older adults have the highest rate of social isolation with devastating consequences, such as an estimated 50% increased risk of developing dementia, even after controlling for demographics and health status. There are many ways Connecticut uses its Senior Nutrition Programs to cut through those barriers.”

Senior nutrition is now more important than ever. Each year in the U.S., up to half of adults over 65 are at risk of malnutrition, and more than 10 million face hunger. In communities throughout the U.S. – including our own – older adults sometimes lack access to the high-quality, nutritious food they need to remain healthy and independent.

“As the keystone program of the Older Americans Act, the Senior Nutrition Program is at the foundation of our nation's system for helping older adults age in place,” Alison Barkoff, Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging, ACL said. “For 50 years, it has provided healthy meals, opportunities for social interaction, and access to a wide variety of programs and services to help older people stay active, healthy and engaged in their communities. ACL is proud of this program and the aging services network whose leadership and tireless efforts bring it to life across the country.” 

Through community partners, our Senior Nutrition Program delivers meals to nearly 20,000 consumers over the course of the year, adding up to about 1.8 million meals yearly to Connecticut older adults in their homes or in congregate settings. To provide an older adult two meals per day, five days per week for a year costs roughly the same as one day in the hospital or ten days in a nursing home. And as anyone familiar with the program knows, it is the built-in socialization and well-being checks that are key to helping these seniors remain safe and healthy. 
For more information about the Senior Nutrition Program in Connecticut visit ct.gov/ADS-SNP.




(HARTFORD, CT) - Today, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Governor Ned Lamont, with agency commissioners and advocates, announced the launch of a new campaign focused on combatting loneliness and social isolation in Connecticut.

“As a nation and a state, we are seeing an epidemic of loneliness and isolation. The health impacts of this epidemic are very real – they are so significant and so widespread that the U.S. Surgeon General has put social isolation and loneliness on the same level as public health crises like tobacco addiction, AIDS, drunk driving, obesity, and gun violence.” said Lt. Governor Bysiewicz. “We've seen recent efforts emerging to address this crisis, and today marks an important next step in exploring how we,as a state,can best address this issue.

“We know that older adults and people with disabilities face disproportionate barriers to connecting with others,” said Aging and Disability Services (ADS) Commissioner Amy Porter. “We commend the Lieutenant Governor for establishing a Social Connection Campaign to establish increased focus on and fortify social connection and community in an equitable manner across Connecticut.

Read the full release on Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz' Press Release Page


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