According to the US Census Bureau, the number of Americans 65 and older will surpass the number that are 18 or younger by 2056. And by 2060, there will be about 92 million Americans who are 65-plus. It’s no wonder, then, with the growth of the older population, that an entire month has been set aside to honor and celebrate them.
Tomorrow is the start of Older Americans Month, a time when the country ” recognizes older Americans for their contributions and demonstrates our nation’s commitment to helping them stay healthy and active,” according to a press release by the Administration for Community Living. The article continues:
This year’s theme for Older Americans Month is “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.” The theme focuses on injury prevention and safety to encourage older adults to protect themselves and remain active and independent for as long as possible.
With an emphasis on safety during Older Americans Month, we encourage older adults to learn about the variety of ways they can avoid the leading causes of injury.
The Administration for Community Living has prepared safety tips for seniors to navigate issues such as medication management, driving, and fires. In addition, Assisted Living communities can hold special events and activities this month focusing on safety–an activity guide is also available to help with planning.
Here are some suggested activities to help you brainstorm your own event:
- Invite your local fire department to do a safety presentation at your community
- Hold a workshop on safe driving and transportation alternatives for older adults
- Ask an expert to discuss the various types of elder abuse with your residents
You might also want to take the opportunity this month to review and update your community’s disaster preparedness plan. CALA has some great disaster prep tools available for you, and can answer any questions you have. By providing a safe environment for your area’s older population, your Assisted Living community exemplifies the theme of “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow” during Older Americans Month and throughout the year.
Tell us what you’ve got planned for this month! Post your events to the Facebook pages for CALA and the Administration for Community Living. If your community has a Twitter or Pinterest account, use the tag #OAM2014 in your posts.