Did you know when Older Americans Month (OAM) was established back in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday? Back then, about 33 percent of older Americans lived in poverty and there were very few programs that offered them assistance. As you can imagine, interest in older Americans and their concerns grew to a point that could not be ignored any longer. In April 1963, a meeting between then President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to the designation of May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to what we now know as “Older Americans Month.”
May is a time to acknowledge the contributions of the past and current older persons to our country, in particular, those who defended our country. I’ve had the opportunity to converse with WWII veterans in many of our partner Assisted Living Communities and each has a unique and extremely entertaining story to tell. Take the time to engage the greatest generation and learn from their experiences. It’s more exciting than watching an episode of Game of Thrones, I promise you!
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) mentions that every President since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation before or during the month of May asking the entire nation to 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.
Join Legacy Care in celebrating OAM by encouraging community members of all ages to take part in supporting Older Americans, especially this month.
This year’s focus expresses three core values. Connect, with friends, family, and services that support participation. Create, by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment, and lastly to Contribute, time, talent, and life experience to benefit others. Here are just a few ideas on how to celebrate Older Americans Month:
- Encourage older adults and other storytellers to share their experiences
- Inspire older adults to express themselves through art, dance, or exercise
- Host a fundraiser to benefit local programs that serve the older population
Communities that encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger! By engaging and supporting all community members, we recognize that older adults play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives. Join us in strengthening our community – this May and throughout the year. Visit the official OAM website for ideas and inspiration on how you can help and promote the older Americans in your community.
Below are just a few of the events going on in the month of May throughout Virginia and Maryland that we encourage you to attend:
- Richmond, VA: 36th Annual Older Americans Luncheon on May 9th
- Chesapeake, VA: Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia Public Event on May 23rd
- Portsmouth, VA: 29th Annual Senior Sports Day from May 6th to May 9th
- Norfolk, VA: 2019 Senior Olympics from May 13th – 16th
- Reston, VA: Reston Community Center Art Exhibit from May 1st – May 30th
- Alexandria, VA: Creative Aging Cooking Class on May 28th at 8 am
- Laurel, MD: Older Americans Month BB on May 22nd
- Talbot, MD: Older Americans Month Talk on May 16th from 1:00-2:30 pm
- Prince George County, MD: Centenarian Celebration on May 3rd
- Prince George County, MD: Senior Health and Fitness Day on May 22nd