Older Americans Month was established in 1963 to celebrate the lives and contributions of our respected senior citizens.
In 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About one third of these senior citizens lived in poverty and there were few programs, on the Federal, State or City levels to meet their needs.
However, the interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month”. This was the inaugural moment and the prelude to “Older Americans Month.”
Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons of the United States. Most importantly to those seniors who served in the armed forces and defended our country.
Every President since President Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May — asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities.
Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other such activities.
The theme for this years commemoration is “Connect, Create, Contribute. The themes are always positive and highlight the past and present contributions that senior citizens make to our Country and quality of life. Just to give you an idea of how precious our senior citizens are, here are the themes frm the last ten years:
- 2018—Engage at Every Age
- 2017—Age Out Loud
- 2016—Blaze a Trail
- 2015—Get into the Act
- 2014—Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.
- 2013—Unleash the Power of Age
- 2012—Never Too Old to Play
- 2011—Older Americans: Connecting the Community
- 2010—Age Strong! Live Long!
- 2009—Living Today for a Better Tomorrow
Older Americans Month: Join In, Participate
Seniors raised families and built careers, while at the same time also giving back to their communities in a variety of ways. Although times have changed, they continue to volunteer and serve their neighborhoods. Whether they mentor a child, volunteer at a soup kitchen or hospital, or advise budding small-business entrepreneurs — they deserve recognition for their commitment.
Older Americans Month also raises awareness concerning elder abuse and neglect. As we age, the risk of abuse and neglect increases. We must be sure resources are in place to protect our older population. One way is to get involved in community and social activities.
Be a part of this celebration. Get involved and learn more by visiting oam.acl.gov. Use #OlderAmericansMonth to share on social media.
You’ll be glad you did.