Did you know that the month of May is recognized as Older Americans Month? It is a time to celebrate and honor the contributions of senior citizens in our communities and to promote activities and programs that can help them stay active and stimulated.
This blog will highlight some interesting facts about the month’s history and explore some of the most popular Older Americans Month activities. So that you can get involved and make the most of this special month.
So, whether you’re an older adult looking for ways to stay active or a caregiver or family member looking to help the seniors in your life stay engaged, read on to discover the many ways you can celebrate Older Americans Month!
What is older Americans month?
Older Americans Month (OAM) is an annual observance that takes place in the United States every May. The purpose of the month-long celebration is to recognize and honor the contributions of older adults to our society and to raise awareness of the issues and challenges faced by older Americans.
Each year, a different theme is chosen to highlight a particular aspect of aging and the contributions of older adults. Through a variety of events and activities, Older Americans Month aims to promote healthy aging and motivate seniors to stay active and engaged in their communities.
Older Americans Month history
Older Americans Month has a long and interesting history. It was first inaugurated in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy as Senior Citizens Month, with the goal of encouraging older Americans to participate more fully in all aspects of society. Back in that time, only 17 million Americans were older adults and had very few opportunities to engage in activities, events, or hobbies they enjoyed. The month was officially recognized by Congress in 1965, and it has been celebrated every May ever since.
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter changed the name of the observance to Older Americans Month to reflect changing attitudes about aging and to recognize the contributions of older adults to society. Since then, each year has had a different theme, highlighting different aspects of aging and the contributions of older Americans.
Over the years, OAM has also been used to raise awareness of the challenges facing older Americans, such as social isolation, healthcare access, and financial security. Through a variety of events and activities, Older Americans Month continues to promote healthy aging and encourage older adults to stay active and engaged in their communities.
What are some fun Older Americans Month activities?
There are many fun activities that can be enjoyed during Older Americans Month, and the best activities are those that promote physical, mental, and social well-being. Here are a few examples of activities:
1. Creative writing
Writing can be a great way to express oneself and stay mentally engaged. Older adults can try their hand at creative writing by participating in writing workshops or simply writing for fun.
2. Virtual exercise classes
Many gyms and recreation centers offer virtual exercise classes that can be accessed from the comfort of home. These classes can include yoga, tai chi, and other exercises that promote flexibility, strength, and balance.
Gardening is a great way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors. Whether you have a small balcony or a large yard, there are many ways to get involved in gardening and grow your own fruits and vegetables.
4. Volunteer opportunities
Volunteering allows older adults to give back to the community and find a purpose. Many non-profit organizations, such as food banks and animal shelters, are always in need of volunteers.
5. Walking groups
Walking is an excellent way to stay active and socialize with others. Older adults can join walking groups in their communities, or even start their own groups with friends and neighbors.
6. Arts and crafts
Arts and crafts can be a fun way to stimulate the brain and stay sharp. Older adults can try painting, knitting, or other crafts that interest them during Older Americans Month.
How to celebrate Older Americans Month in senior living?
Celebrating Older Americans Month in senior living could promote healthy aging and socialization. Here are some ideas for how assisted living and nursing homes can celebrate Older Americans Month:
1. Virtual travel tours
Many museums and tourist attractions offer virtual tours that allow older adults to explore new places from the comfort of their own homes. It is especially beneficial for long-term care residents to stay engaged and learn about different cultures and destinations, who cannot visit physically.
2. Mindfulness and meditation
Staying away from family can have negative impact on the mental health of senior living residents. Mindfulness and meditation practices can help them reduce stress, improve focus, and promote overall well-being. There are many resources available online, including guided meditation and mindfulness exercises.
3. Intergenerational activities
Senior living communities can organize intergenerational activities that bring together residents and younger individuals. This can include mentoring programs, game nights, or other activities that promote socialization and connection.
4. Cooking and baking classes
Many long-term care facilities have community kitchens that can be used for cooking and baking classes. These classes can be a fun way for residents to learn new recipes and cooking techniques while socializing with others.
In conclusion, there are many ways to celebrate Older Americans Month and honor the unique perspectives and experiences of older adults. Through a variety of activities and events, we can promote healthy aging, socialization, and community engagement.
Senior living communities can also play a key role in celebrating OAM by organizing activities that promote physical, mental, and social well-being that provide opportunities for residents to engage with one another and their communities.
By celebrating Older Americans Month, we can promote a culture of respect and appreciation for people of all ages to create a more inclusive and supportive society that values people of all ages.
- Is Senior Citizens Day and Older Americans Month taken seriously?
Yes, Senior Citizens Day and Older Americans Month are taken seriously by many individuals, organizations, and communities throughout the United States. Additionally, many businesses and industries recognize the value of older adults as consumers and employees and actively seek to engage with and support this demographic. That includes offering senior discounts, developing products and services tailored to older adults, and creating workplace policies that promote age diversity and inclusion.
- When is older Americans month?
Older Americans Month (OAM) is celebrated in the United States every May.
- What was older Americans month 2023 theme?
The theme for Older Americans Month 2023 was “Aging Unbound”. The theme is meant to encourage older adults to embrace new possibilities and opportunities in later life, and to challenge stereotypes and limitations associated with aging.