May is Older Americans Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of senior citizens nationwide. Commemorated annually since 1963, this year’s Older Americans Month focuses on the theme, “Never Too Old to Play.”
The 2012 Older Americans Month salutes the spirited endeavors of an increasing number of older people who volunteer and participate in community service groups, faith-based organizations, arts and recreational groups, and online social networking.
According to the Administration on Aging, approximately 40 million senior adults—people 65 years or older—live in America, comprising 13 percent of the U.S. population. One of every eight Americans is a senior citizen, and this number is expected to reach 72.1 million older persons by 2030.
As part of this year’s Older Americans Month, every person is encouraged to interact with at least one senior and enjoy more playful social interactions such as games, sports, contests and other forms of inter-generational engagement. Here are suggestions for showing appreciation to senior adults any time of year:
- Enjoy a leisurely phone call to an elderly friend or relative.
- Visit with a senior in person and do something you both enjoy (drink coffee, watch a classic movie, look through photo albums).
- Bring over a home-cooked or takeout meal and eat together.
- Offer to help out around the home and yard.
- Plan a fun social activity or take a recreational/arts class together.
- Keep in regular touch through visits, calls, cards and social media.
Who will you celebrate during this May’s Older Americans Month?