Older Americans Month 2020: older adults are essential

Family and friends, work and play—there are so many roles that older adults play in enriching our community. As part of a non-profit dedicated to helping people Age In Place, our team at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services sees this every day. Through good times and challenges, older adults are an essential part of any vibrant community.

May is Older Americans Month, a national observance dedicated to celebrating the contributions of older adults. We are privileged to hear many such stories. Here are a few:

Manuel and Gabriela Centeio

Manuel and Gabriela Centeio immigrated to the United States from Cape Verde with their two daughters in the ‘80s. They worked hard— Gabriela at Gillette and Manuel at Borden Candy in Cambridge– and bought their house in Somerville in the ‘90s. They are now both retired. These days, you can find Manuel hanging out with his great-grandchildren, who he shares his home with. He enjoys gardening and watching sports. Gabriela enjoys doing word puzzles and checking out local news via Facebook.

Art and learning are lifelong interests that have often overlapped for Bathsheba Freedman. She holds a doctorate in Human Development and taught at Dartmouth for 11 years, but visual arts have always been her biggest interest. In graduate school, she explored the state of development where children transition from scribbling to drawing (usually between the ages of 5 and 6). More recently, she was a docent at the Museum of Fine Arts, giving tours for school groups. These days, the retired mother of two lives in Cambridge and enjoys taking classes at the Harvard Institute for Learning and Retirement. She also has many fond memories of her husband, who she met through a mutual friend in graduate school.

Our thanks to everyone who shared their stories!

Click here to read about SCES volunteers who are making a difference in our community.

For more information about Older Americans Month, visit the Administration for Community Living website.