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.
Friday is the start of Older Americans Month, a time for the country “to recognize older Americans for their contributions to the nation,” according to the Administration for Community Living. The website continues:
This year, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act (OAA), we are focusing on how older adults are taking charge of their health, getting engaged in their communities, and making a positive impact in the lives of others. The theme for Older Americans Month 2015 is Get into the Act.
Older Americans Month provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of community engagement as a tool for enhancing the wellbeing of older adults. Now is the time to Get into the Act to make the benefits of community living a reality for more older Americans. Together we can promote healthy aging, increase community involvement for older adults, and tackle important issues like the prevention of elder abuse.
The Administration for Community Living has prepared an outreach guide for Assisted Living communities and other organizations looking for ways to participate.
Here are some suggested activities to help you brainstorm your own event:
- Organize a Healthy Aging activity series with a focus on both mind and body
- Host a community forum to facilitate open and honest discussions about aging
- Honor volunteers, employees, or service providers for their contributions to your residents
You might also want to take the opportunity this month to share your aging expertise with community groups and leaders by giving a Voice of Assisted Living presentation*. Check out our helpful tips on how to give a presentation and download CALA’s pre-written speeches and Powerpoint presentations. Topics include:
- Dispelling Myths About Aging
- Stresses and Joys of Caregiving
- Starting the Long-term Care Conversation
By opening your doors to your community-at-large and sharing the true story of Assisted Living, your Assisted Living community can “Get Into the Act” 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 #OAM15 in your posts.