Each May, the United States recongizes the month as Older Americans Month (OAM). The theme for this year’s Older Americans Month is Aging Unbound, which encourages us to explore diverse aging experiences and talk about how we can combat different stereotypes.
Older Americans Month started in 1963 under President John F. Kennedy (called Senior Citizens Month at the time), and at that time, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday.
At SCOA, celebrating Older Americans Month and recognizing the importance of seniors in our community is crucial. We know how vibrant older adults make our community, and we want to allow them to continue that for as long and as independently as possible. Help us celebrate Older Americans Month with some of the following activities:
- Spend time with older adults. Whether this means stopping by a family member or friend’s house or spending time with seniors you may not know at a care facility, spending time with older Americans is one of the best ways to celebrate Older Americans Month! They will be grateful for someone to spend time with and talk to. If you’re not able to visit in person, call or video chat them.
- Encourage storytelling. While you’re visiting seniors, encourage them to tell you about their life. Help them jumpstart their memories of a particular time if you need to. Storytelling can help them to improve their self-esteem, mood, and well-being. It can also help them to feel more in control of their life as they age, and you never know what you might learn from their stories. You can record their stories or keep a journal of what you learn or even turn them into a book for them and loved ones to enjoy.
- Support and celebrate seniors year round. While spending time with seniors is a great way to celebrate Older Americans Month, it’s important to think about seniors year round. Starting this May, work on celebrating and supporting seniors for the rest of the year. This can look like spending time with loved ones, sending cards to seniors farther away or in a care home, or supporting organizations like SCOA with money or time.
If you are a seniors, celebrate Older Americans Month by participating in one of our activities.