Older Americans Month is observed annually every May in the United States. It’s primarily observed to recognize the contributions of past and present older persons to the country, particularly those who defended the country. Each year, Older Americans Month comes along with a different theme, such as Older Americans and the Family (1978), In the New Century … The Future is Aging (2000), Age Strong! Live Long! (2010), and Age My Way (2022). The latter is focused on how older persons can remain in and be involved with their communities.
History of Older Americans Month
Older Americans Month was established in 1963 when at the time, there were only 17 million living Americans that had reached their 65th birthday. Around a third of older Americans lived in poverty, and programs to meet their needs were not many. For that reason, there was a growth of interest in older Americans and their concerns. In April 1963, a meeting was held between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens (N.C.S.C.), leading to the designation of May as Senior Citizens Month, now Older Americans Month.
At first, Older Americans Month was observed as an appreciation of past and present older Americans for their contributions to the country, especially those who defended the country. Since then, every president has been issuing a formal proclamation during or before May, requesting all citizens to pay tribute to older Americans in their communities. Since 1978, according to Administration for Community Living (A.C.L.), Older Americans Month has been observed with a different theme each year. At the time, it was Older Americans and their families.
In 2019, the theme was Connect, Create, Contribute — as an encouragement for older Americans to connect with family, friends, and services; create by engaging in activities, and contributing. In 2020, it was Make Your Mark, in which individuals of all ages, communities, and organizations were encouraged to make their marks. The 2021 theme was Communities of Strength, celebrating the stories and contributions of older Americans that helped support and inspire others. In 2022, the theme for Older Americans Month was Age My Way. It’s focused on how older Americans can plan to stay in their homes and live independently in their communities.
Older Americans Month timeline
The month of May is designated as Senior Citizens Month.
The theme chosen is Older Americans and the Family.
Older Americans Month’s theme is Connect, Create, Contribute.
The theme for Older Americans Month is Age My Way.
Older Americans Month FAQs
What do older adults want to be called?
It is said that ‘older people and ‘older folks’ are almost always an inappropriate alternative to ‘senior citizens.’
What age does middle age start?
It is generally defined as being between the ages of 40 and 60.
Is 60 considered elderly?
The United Nations has defined anyone 60 years or older as an ‘older’ person.
Older Americans Month Activities
Host a workshop
Older adults most likely have so many experiences. Collaborate with your community to host a workshop where older Americans can share their stories with younger generations. Besides, there can be discussions between older and younger persons to benefit both parties.
Host a musical event
Music can be a way to connect people. Host a musical event in your community where people of all ages can enjoy music and perform.
Let older Americans lead
If possible, create an event where older Americans who want to stay active lead the event. It’s to show that older persons can still contribute to the community.
5 Facts About Older Adults You Need To Know
They are online
According to research studies, 53% of Americans aged 65 or older are online.
Four in five have chronic condition
Four in five older adults are facing at least one chronic condition such as heart disorders, arthritis, or osteoporosis.
Only 3.6% are in nursing homes
Reportedly, only 3.6% of people over 65 years old are in nursing homes.
They get a good night’s sleep
It is said that although older adults tend to wake up during the night, they get a good night’s sleep regularly.
They have less stress
According to the American Psychological Association, nine in 10 older adults are doing enough to manage stress.
Why We Love Older Americans Month
It helps us to appreciate
Older adults have made contributions to the country — some of them still do. Older Americans Month gives all of us a chance to honor them for their contributions.
We involve them
The month can be a time for older Americans who want to stay active to get involved with the community. They have an opportunity to lead an event or simply share their experiences with younger generations.
It helps us learn
Since older adults are involved in the communities, the younger generations can learn from them. Their contributions and experiences can inspire.
Older Americans Month dates