May is Older Americans Month 2024

May is Older Americans Month

Spring is here. May is Older Americans Month … a time to recognize the contributions of older Americans.

What is Older Americans Month?

When Older Americans Month was established 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 few programs met 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 the designation of 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.

Since Kennedy’s time, every president has issued a formal proclamation during or before May, asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities.

With over 55.8 million or 16.8% of people today over 65, according to the 2020 census, there is much to celebrate and honor. Older Americans Month is celebrated nationwide 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 “Powered by Connection.”

The 2024 theme was chosen to “recognize the profound impact that meaningful relationships and social connections have on our health and well-being.” According to the Administration for Community Living, the theme underscores connectedness’s vital role in supporting independence and aging in place by combatting isolation, loneliness, and other issues.

Here are some ways the ACL suggests that you can participate:

  • Share facts about social connection’s mental, physical, and emotional health benefits and how it contributes to overall well-being.
  • Promote resources that help older adults engage, like community events, social clubs, and volunteer opportunities.
  • Connect older adults with local services, such as transportation that can help them overcome obstacles to achieving or maintaining meaningful relationships.
  • Encourage partners to host a connection-centric event or program focused on older adult mentors to youth, peer-to-peer support, or similar efforts.
  • Challenge professional and personal networks to prioritize meaningful social connections and share the benefits. Inspire older adults to share what connection means to them on social media using the hashtag #PoweredByConnection.

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

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

To help celebrate May is Older Americans Month, Healthy Aging® will feature articles on the importance of social connection along with tips for physical, social, mental and financial wellness throughout the month. Have tips to recommend? Send us your ideas:

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:

Here are suggested articles on the importance of social wellness from Healthy Aging®:

Used with permission from Senior Care

Volunteering Promotes Social Relations, Combats Loneliness

Building new relationships and mental well-being through volunteering.

Be Social…It Can Help You Live LongerHealthy Aging social wellness

Study links social relationships with physical well-being.

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

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