May is Older Americans Month

Older Americans Month

Older Americans Month

There’s lots to celebrate this May arrives. Along with the flowers, there is Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, the Kentucky Derby and the national observance month honoring older Americans, “May is Older Americans Month.”

When Older Americans Month was established in over 50 years ago in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday.

About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. 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,” the prelude to “Older Americans Month.”

Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country.

Every President since 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.

With over 44 million people today over 65, there is much to celebrate and honor. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other such activities.

This year, the U.S. Administration on Aging, which is now part of the Administration for Community Living, under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is promoting the theme “Blaze a Trail to Reinvention.”

With more and more older Americans living longer and more healthfully than ever before, the theme is timely, inspirational, and one regularly seen throughout the pages of Healthy Aging® Magazine and website.

Healthy Aging® website to offer tips and information for Older Americans Month

To help celebrate May is Older Americans Month, Healthy Aging® will be featuring articles of people who have reinvented themselves along with tips for physical, social, mental and financial wellness throughout the month. Have someone to recommend? Send us your ideas:

Reinvention tips

Many retirees are finding new inspiration in second careers, helping others, discovering new interests, and pursuing dreams. Reinventing yourself can be fun and rewarding. Even better: it is also good for your mental and physical well-being.

Whether you are planning for retirement or simply looking to get involved in new activities, start by thinking about your skills, dreams, and passions.

Follow your passion, use your skills

Careers after retirement can be rewarding, personally and financially. First, determine whether you have the skills needed for a new venture. If so, update your resume and start looking at job posts. If not, seek out classes and training—online or at a local college. Remember to ask whether financial assistance is available.

Express yourself through the arts. Learn to paint or draw, dust off those dancing shoes, or put your musical talent to use. Take a class in stand-up comedy or acting, or finally write that story. Even if you never felt artistic, everyone has the ability to be creative. As a bonus, studies show that the arts can improve brain health.

Keep learning and growing! Learn a new language or take a computer class. Or, maybe you have always wanted to travel and discover other cultures. No matter what you choose, pursuing a new interest will help keep you happy, healthy, and connected.

Consider using your years of experience to serve others. Volunteers meet a range of community needs, from mentoring at-risk youth to providing job training to helping families recover from disasters.

The benefits

  • Helps keep your mind active
  • Helps maintain physical health
  • Provides structure and routine
  • Connects you with the community
  • Promotes social activities
  • Helps prevent isolation
  • Provides income in some cases

Need help deciding what to do for Older Americans Month?

Connect with your local senior center, community college, or library to find programs in your community.

You can find more resources on the Older Americans website.

Download the Older Americans Month Poster

Check back to Healthy Aging® throughout May for more ideas and tips!

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