For more than 50 years, the contributions of older adults in the U.S. have been recognized every May during Older Americans Month. President John F. Kennedy established the observance in 1963 as Senior Citizens Month, encouraging us all to pause and pay them tribute.
Since then, Older Americans Month has evolved into a celebration of older adults’ ongoing influence in all areas of American life. Spearheaded by the Administration for Community Living, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the agency stages activities throughout the month to raise awareness about important issues facing older adults and to highlight the ways that they are advocating for themselves, their peers and their communities.
The theme for Older Americans Month in 2016 is “Blaze a Trail.” According to the Administration for Community Living, this theme “emphasizes the ways older adults are reinventing themselves through new work and new passions, engaging their communities, and blazing a trail of positive impact on the lives of people of all ages.”
Consider what older adults have done in the years since 1963, when only 17 million Americans were age 65 or older. Now, the number is more than 44 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s about 14 percent of the population. About 22 percent of men 65 and older remain in the workforce, as do 14 percent of women.
Many older Americans continue to serve as leaders in our economy, politics, the arts, business, and much more. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. Is 69. Actress Rita Moreno is 84. And Ruth Bader Ginsberg, at age 83, has been a Supreme Court Justice for nearly a quarter of a century.
While Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America provide quality senior services guided by Christian values year-round, we will use Older Americans Month 2016 to focus on how older adults in our community are leading and inspiring others, how we can support and learn from them, and how we might follow their examples to blaze trails of our own. Find out more about the observance at acl.gov/olderamericansmonth.
Logos at http://oam.acl.gov/2016/logos.html