May is Older Adult Month
Updated: May 8, 2022
There are literally dozens of month-long observations (most promoted by large national organizations), including National Mentoring Month, National Volunteer Month (April), African American History Month (February), and Baby Safety Month (September). And just for fun, here are a few more: Better Breakfast Month (September), Happiness Happens Month (August), and right up my alley-I'm all about food-National Culinary Arts Month (July). National observances exist to promote, educate, and/or celebrate issues and causes.
In the month of May alone, there are more than 40 month-long observances, all worth noting, however, one stands out, Older Adult Month. No time is greater than the present to honor and celebrate older lives. Despite the weight of COVID's destruction-adults over age 65 have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19-there are more people over 60 than under 18, the first time in history! We are living longer, and more of us are growing older. It's time to celebrate! The Administration for Community Living, a federal agency, takes the lead to guide us how, but first, a little history lesson.
In 1963, the
year Older Americans Month was established, only 17 million Americans were age 65 or older, a significant number of older Americans lived in poverty (about a third at the time), and perceptions of older adults were in many respects far worse than today’s COVID-induced aging perceptions. (Did you know that the federal government initially was not in favor of the development of federally funded volunteer programs-i.e., Foster Grandparent Program, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, because the perceptions at the time were that older adults had very little to offer and contribute to society).
President Kennedy was the first president-and every president since-to honor and recognize the contributions of older Americans during the month of May by issuing a proclamation, and the Administration for Community Living is the national organization to announce an annual celebration theme and promote opportunities for local commu
The theme for 2021 Older Adult Month is: “Communities of Strength”. The Administration for Community Living will celebrate the strength of older adults by promoting ways older adults are strong and connected to the greater community. For more information, ideas how you can celebrate Older Adult Month go to: https://acl.gov/oam/2020/older-americans-month-2020 and for more information about other month-long observances and how to get involved here is a link:
So, let's celebrate our lives!