NALW 2019 Mayor Osbon 4.jpg

Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon, right, hands out a proclamation declaring this week National Assisted Living Week in Aiken to Jim Fairchild.

On Monday, Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon visited a local assisted living facility to deliver a proclamation honoring communities providing care to the elderly.

The proclamation marks the beginning of National Assisted Living Week, a campaign that raises awareness about the long-term care such facilities offer to seniors who can no longer live at home due to illness, disability or lack of quality care.

Osbon visited Hitchcock Place Assisted Living Center, which was established in 1995 by the National Center for Assisted Living.

"He urged all citizens to volunteer in an assisted living community, to visit friends and loved ones who reside in these communities and to learn more about how assisted living services benefit Aiken, Aiken County and the entire state of South Carolina," said Hitchcock Place Executive Director Jim Fairchild.

The proclamation designated National Assisted Living Week in Aiken from Sept. 8 to Sept. 14.

"The proclamation is a reminder that residents of assisted living communities can still be members of the larger community, offering their knowledge, life experiences and involvement in the community," Fairchild said. "Mayor Osbon reminded those present that the continued participation of residents in the community continues to pay dividends to the identity and rich history of Aiken."

The 2019 theme of National Assisted Living Week is “A Spark of Creativity.” The theme is intended to inspire assisted living residents to explore their creative side.

Art therapy is proven to have many benefits for elderly adults and individuals with disabilities, including improving cognitive and sensory motor functions, fostering self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivating emotional resilience, enhancing social skills, and reducing and resolving conflicts and distress.

Kristina Rackley is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard.