May is Older Americans Month

By ANNEMARIE SCHUETZ
Posted 5/20/20

Back in 1963, when Older Americans Month was established, 65-year-olds were born in 1898.

They remembered horses and buggies. Ice delivery. World War One. Kerosene lamps.

And there were only 17 …

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May is Older Americans Month

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Back in 1963, when Older Americans Month was established, 65-year-olds were born in 1898.

They remembered horses and buggies. Ice delivery. World War One. Kerosene lamps.

And there were only 17 million of them still living, according to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

They didn’t have Medicare. A third lived in poverty.

Now our seniors, our 65-year-olds, were born in 1955, and grew up with airplanes, cars, electricity and TV. (Not the internet, though.)

But the original reason for Older Americans Month still holds true, that our seniors, no matter when they were born, are a treasure trove of knowledge. They contribute to our communities, through volunteering and work and sharing wisdom. This year’s theme is “Make Your Mark,” according to the ACL, which spearheads the annual observance.

“This theme was selected to encourage and celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities. Their time, experience and talents benefit family, peers and neighbors every day,” the ACL writes. “Communities, organizations and individuals of all ages are also making their marks. This year’s theme highlights the difference everyone can make—in the lives of older adults, in support of caregivers and to strengthen communities.”

Visit www.acl.gov/oam for inspiration to “make your mark” this month. It provides artwork, activity ideas, and other materials to help you observe Older Americans Month. Use the hashtag #OAM2020 to share your plans and stories on social media.

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