Did you know that the month of May is dedicated to celebrating older adults all across the country? It’s known as “Older Americans Month” and is given a different theme each year. For 2013, the theme is “Unleash the Power of Age!”
This year has chosen to focus on older Americans’ potential in many different ways. “Unleash the Power of Age” The theme for Older Americans Month 2013, “Unleash the Power of Age,” has never been more fitting. It is a simple concept that promotes both energy and activism in all senior citizens, then simply encourages them to embrace it. Older Americans are productive and influential members of society who bring joy and happiness to their families, friends, loved ones and communities.
History of Older Americans Month
For 50-years, the month of May has symbolized a time to value and cherish the contributions, strength and importance of seniors across the nation. When Older Americans Month was first established in 1963, there were only around 17 million Americans who were age 65 and older. President John F. Kennedy met with the National Council of Senior Citizens in April of 1963 and the interest in older adults began to grow. The next moth was then designated as “Senior Citizens Month.” Later in 1980, President Jimmy Carter chose to designate the month using a different name. Senior Citizens Month was officially declared Older Americans Month.
What Does the Month Celebrate?
Older Americans Month is a time to say “thank you” to seniors in our country. It’s a time to acknowledge the achievements of older adults from the past and present. It’s a time to value the contributions of war veterans who fought for our freedom.
Every President since Kennedy has issued a proclamation during the month of May, asking that the country pay some form of tribute to the seniors within their communities.
What Can You Do?
Each May, Older Americans Month is celebrated in multiple ways. Some communities hold parades, official ceremonies or senior-themed events. Others may offer shopping discounts or free meals at area restaurants to commemorate the month. You can celebrate by helping seniors to “Unleash the Power of Age” on any level. Take the time to volunteer at a nursing home, spend the day with a senior while visiting a museum or simply enjoy conversation with seniors. Older adults have so much wisdom to share with others!
How will you celebrate senior citizens during the month of May? Share your thoughts below.