Older Americans Month Deserves to Be Celebrated

ourseniors.net-Older Americans Month Deserves to Be Celebrated

You may or may not already be aware that May is Older Americans Month. If you aren’t you’re going to want to get a better idea of this month-long time of much-needed recognition. This is a time to celebrate the contributions and achievements of older Americans, and to raise awareness about the issues and challenges they face but also their part within their communities while recognizing that they also directly played a part in the creation of our communities. 

This month is dedicated to recognizing pillars of our society but it’s also meant for acting as an advocate on their behalf. We’re going to talk about what OAM really means, what you can do to celebrate it or simply raise awareness, and discuss why May is especially important.

Recognizing the Meaning of May and Knowing Its Importance

Keep in mind how important advocacy is especially for those that might not have the loudest voice. Seniors gave us the starts that we have today because a lot of what is in place today is because of those that influenced those changes before us. May is a month when we should recognize the hurdles that seniors are presented with such as healthcare, financial security, and social isolation. 

The observance of Older Americans Month also provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of social connections, creativity, and community involvement for older adults, and to promote policies and programs that support healthy aging and improve the quality of life for older Americans. Just like many groups of the population have months, weeks, or a day of recognition, seniors have May and this month should be dedicated to making things better…simpler, safer, and more engaging for seniors.

Everything Has a History

The history of Older Americans Month dates back to 1963 when President John F. Kennedy designated May as Senior Citizens Month. The aim was to recognize and celebrate the contributions of older Americans to society. In 1980 though, President Jimmy Carter renamed it “Older Americans Month”. The purpose of this change was to acknowledge the increasing demographic of older adults in the US population. 

Older Americans Month highlights the importance of older adults and promoting policies and programs that support their health and well-being. Every year, in May, the Administration for Community Living acts as the lead for the nation’s observance of OAM. The theme of this month of recognition changes each year to reflect current issues and challenges facing older Americans and it’s up to the public to participate and make a difference in any way that they can.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Small Things

These things might seem small but being interactive in your community, engaging with friends, getting exercise, and pursuing passions are all things that could enhance anyone’s life. It reestablishes purpose, gives you more comfort in your daily activities, and makes it more possible to stay healthy longer. Social connections are essential for maintaining good mental and physical health. 

As we age, it becomes increasingly important to stay connected with family, friends, and the wider community. This can be through social activities, volunteering, or simply spending time with loved ones. Maintaining social connections can reduce the risk of depression, loneliness, and cognitive decline.

Creativity is also just as important for older adults and should never go overlooked. Engaging in creative pursuits, such as painting, writing, or music, can help keep the mind active and improve cognitive function. It can also provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which is especially important for those who may be retired or have limited mobility.

Also, community involvement is a crucial part of aging well. Volunteering or participating in local organizations can provide a sense of purpose and social connection. It can also have a positive impact on the wider community, which can be deeply rewarding. These are also all things that you can do with the seniors in your life or in your neighborhood which could be an enriching experience for you as well.

Recognition Could Start With You

It doesn’t matter how you decide to make an impact within the senior community, just that you do. There are a variety of ways to get involved in Older Americans Month. Local community organizations and senior centers may be hosting events or activities to celebrate the occasion. Volunteer opportunities may also be available, providing a chance to give back to the community while connecting with others. 

You could even coordinate something on your own whether you do something at a physical location or gain more exposure and participation through a virtual event…anything that you try will hold weight in the hearts of anyone that enjoys helping to enhance and celebrate the day-to-day lives of seniors. By focusing on the theme of “Aging Unbound”, we can work towards creating a society that values and supports older Americans.

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