National Healthy Aging Month Photo by Christian Toews

Elders play a game of chair volleyball at the Durant Wellness Center. Chair volleyball is a way for people to build mobility, stay active and participate in healthy competition.

CNO honors elders through programs, services designed to promote healthy aging

By By Kendra Germany-Wall and Shelia Kirven
September 1, 2022

For over twenty years, September has been recognized as National Healthy Aging Month in the U.S. It is a time to raise awareness about the positive aspects of growing older and encourage staying active and healthy as you age.

People worldwide are living longer, and every country in the world is experiencing growth in both the size and the proportion of older people in the population.

According to the World Health Organization, by 2030, 1 in 6 people in the world will be aged 60 years or over. By 2050, the world’s population of people aged 60 years and older will double (2.1 billion). The number of individuals aged 80 years or older is expected to triple between 2020 and 2050, reaching 426 million.

According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), many factors influence healthy aging. Factors like exercise, a healthy diet, going to the doctor regularly, and taking care of our mental health are self-manageable.

Research supported by the NIA has identified actions individuals can take to help manage health, live as independently as possible, and maintain quality of life as they age.

Choctaw elders have the unique opportunity to access numerous services geared toward healthy aging and maintaining the quality of life.

Here is a comprehensive list of services and programs offered to Choctaw Elders.

202 Supportive Elder Housing

One-bedroom elder units are equipped with an Energy Star refrigerator, stove and central heating and air.

Community Health Nursing

Provides services for tribal members in our rural communities to keep them healthy.

Community Health Representative (CHR)

Assists Native Americans to maintain the health of themselves and their families.

Elder Advocacy

Provides community outreach, advocacy, training, preparation and other support services.

Elder Food Security (ARPA FRF)

Provides eligible Choctaw Nation tribal members with the opportunity to receive a $200 monthly grocery allowance beginning September 2021.

Eyeglasses, Dentures and Hearing Aid Program

Provides eligible Choctaw tribal members with eyeglasses, dentures or partials and hearing aids.

Healthy Aging

Provides wellness, social services, behavioral health services, case management and providers in geriatric-specific care to assist elders in achieving a higher quality of life or maintaining an optimal level of functioning and wellness.

Healthy Aging also offers the Healthy Living Lending Closet program. Through this program, gently used medical equipment donations are repaired, sanitized and distributed to those in need. The Lending Closet is a way for people to donate gently used medical supplies they no longer need and provide them to people who need those items. For more information on the Lending Closet, call 580-916-9140 ext. 83849.

Independent Elder Housing

Affordable housing is available to low-income elders who can live independently. The units are designed for one person or one person and their spouse.

Nutrition Services

This program helps elders navigate healthy eating practices to improve overall health and help in fighting disease.

Senior Nutrition

Provides meals, information, referral, transportation, wellness activities and arts and crafts to Native American elders.

Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program

Eligible seniors in the Choctaw Nation service area can receive $50 benefits for fresh fruits and vegetables from authorized area farmers.

The following services can be used by tribal members of any age but are also
great resources for elders:

Some of these programs have eligibility guidelines. Tribal members can find out more about elder services by using the “Elders” filter on the Programs and Services webpage.

Choctaw Community Centers are also a place for local elders. Free weekly meals are served to elders at Choctaw Community Centers throughout the Choctaw Nation. Community Centers also offer various opportunities such as volunteer services and fundraising for group trips, games, lessons, etc. Contact your local Choctaw Community Center for more information on how you can take part in community activities.

The Choctaw Nation has long promoted its goal to enhance the lives of all members through opportunities designed to develop healthy and productive lifestyles. There are programs and services available for tribal members of all ages.

For more information on services for all ages, visit