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What Older Americans Month Means (to Me)

Older Americans Month is a way for us to pay tribute to our nation’s seniors who bring inspiration and continuity to the fabric of our communities. The theme “Older Americans: Connecting the Community”, reminds us that it is important to connect seniors’ histories, experiences and knowledge to our communities today. It is also only fitting that we invest in seniors the way they have invested in us. The Administration on Aging’s programs provide home and community based services that are helping many aging adults age in place and celebrate good health during their increased longevity. Investments in senior health and economic security are not only the right thing to do – they are good policy. 

Kathy Greenlee
Assistant Secretary for Aging
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

 

Older adults bring a wealth of culture, wisdom and balance to each of our communities.   And for communities and individuals to benefit most from this segment of the population, it is important that we invest in support systems which ease the way in aging.  When we look at role models in our communities, the “citizens of the year,” who but the older American can fill that category so well? How we treat our elders is a reflection of our nation doing its duty.

Pat Branson
Executive Director
Senior Citizens of Kodiak, Inc

  

Older Americans Month provides everyone an opportunity to recognize and relate to our aging citizens. We will one day fall under the category of older American.  We are so busy with our work and responsibilities that we often forget to take the time to show love and respect for our parents, grandparents and aging neighbors. Regardless of age, we all share common needs and life experiences, births , death of a loved one, the sense of being alone in the world.  A kind word and a smile cost nothing but are of great value to an aging friend or actually anyone who may feel lonely.  We are all people. 

Betty Koski
Deputy Director for Consumer Education
Senior Resources Agency on Aging

  

When I think of Older Americans Month, my mother and my grandmother immediately come to mind.  Toward the end of their lives, both of them had dementia, as well as other chronic conditions, but until their 80s, both were vital and active.  They both loved to travel and spent much of their volunteering their time to help others.  In fact, my favorite picture of my mom is of her riding a camel at age 81!  Years ago, my grandmother knew and practiced both healthy eating (except for her scalloped potatoes loaded with butter and cream) and regular exercise – we would always go for a walk after dinner.  Not only did we walk, but we talked!  I treasure those lessons about the importance of physical activity and good communication. 

Sue Lachenmayr, MPH
Program Associate, Center for Healthy Aging
National Council on Aging

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Comments on this Post

  • I find myself more fortunate than I realize as at my ageI have my health and I am able to support myself. I have a careing family and network of friends and community but I see a world of issues facing many elderly citizens who are outliving their own finances and see an issue where we in America need to be there for these communities especially in housing issues. Pat Houston, TX
  • I TREASURE THE COMMNICATION I HAVE WITH MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS. I DON'T FEEL OLD, AND DON'T HAVE DEMENTIA, BUT DO HAVE SEVERAL OTHER SERIOUS ILLNESSES. JEAN
  • I think about the vastness of experience and knowledge that many older Americans are willing to share. Many movements start with the energy of the younger generation, then this generation wants the experience of the older generation to help carry the torch.
    I was lucky to have a father that was willing to share the struggles of growing up, the joys of being a husband and a father, I wish I had listened more. I am blessed to still have my mother with me, I love to hear her stories of struggle and of accomplishment. These stories help define her and myself.
    Mark Gulfport, FL