National Older Americans Month
Established in 1963 as “Senior Citizens Month,” the now named Older Americans Month was created as a way to celebrate the contributions of older people, both past and present. And even though we are nearly halfway through May, it’s important to hold these ideals all year round.
For 2017, the theme of the month is “Age Out Loud,” a play on the “Laugh Out Loud” acronym made famous in the internet age. Past themes have been Blaze a Trail, Safe Today. Health Tomorrow, and Never Too Old To Play. Throughout the month of May, OAM is celebrated across the country with ceremonies, events, and fairs according to the Administration for Community Living.
More than 50 years after its inception, OAM is as important as ever. Our parents and older loved ones are working longer, adapting to new technologies, and engaging more in their communities. Independence is key in that respect, as many seniors desire to take hold of their lives and make their own decisions.
For many older Americans, a helping hand is needed to remain as independent as possible. This could mean driving a parent to a senior center for much needed socialization or setting up doctors appointments. Access to housing, food, and health care are paramount for an aging community.
The Knights of Pythias Retirement Center offers older loved ones a safe home, one meal a day and 24-hour security. Residents live in their own apartments close to shopping and bus lines, allowing them to retain their independence. Through the City of Vancouver, there are plenty of options for exploring with the 50+ Trips and Activities Programs as well as several programs throughout the year at our center.
May is Older Americans Month, a time to reflect on older citizens in our nation. In actuality, our older loved ones deserve respect all year round.