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Older Americans Month 2017

Caitlin Burm
By Caitlin BurmMay 2, 2017

Older Americans Month, formerly Senior Citizens Month, began over 50 years ago by President John F. Kennedy to honor and support our nation’s population of older adults.

Learn more about celebrating Older Americans Month, and find out how to “age out loud” and become more involved in 2017.

Older Americans Month

In 1963, the number of Americans aged 65 and older was only 17 million. That number has more than doubled today, to 40.3 million according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHS).

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The needs of this aging population continue to grow along with the numbers, and that is why it is important for us to encourage older adults to age out loud — and to become more involved in the lives of senior loved ones in 2017.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) explains:

Age Out Loud gives aging a new voice — one that reflects what today’s older adults have to say… More than ever before, older Americans are working longer, trying new things, and engaging in their communities. They’re taking charge, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for themselves and others. What it means to age has changed, and Older Americans Month 2017 is a perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate what getting older looks like today.”

Ways to Age Out Loud in 2017

Older Americans Month reminds us that it is important to give aging a new voice, and one that will raise awareness about the important issues facing older adults, like avoiding isolation by staying involved within their communities.

Staying connected to family and friends not only gives one purpose, but it has far reaching mental and physical health benefits as well, and is aligned with the Older Americans Month theme in 2017.

You can help an aging older American or loved one by promoting community involvement, which is a great way for older adults to stay connected, and there are many accessible ways to become involved:

  1. Senior Corp: Part of the Corporation for National and Community Service that connects seniors to well-suited community programs.
  2. Sound Generations (Previously Senior Services): A non-profit agency serving older adults and their loved ones through an integrated system of quality programs and senior centers.
  3. VolunteerMatch.org: Part of the non-profit organization connecting nonprofits with volunteers.

As the ACL reminds us, “Let’s amplify the many voices of older Americans and raise awareness of vital aging issues across the country. Join us as we speak up and out loud for Older Americans Month.”

How do you plan to become more involved as an older adult, or increase engagement with a loved one this Older Americans Month? Share your story with us in the comments below.

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Caitlin Burm
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