May is Older Americans Month. Each year, the Administration on Aging (AoA) issues a unique theme for the month of May focusing on seniors. This national yearly tribute acknowledges the contributions seniors have made to our country and provides them with empowering support. This year’s theme is “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.” The premise focuses on safety and injury prevention to encourage you to protect yourself and remain physically active and independent for as long as possible.
How It Began
American seniors have made innumerable sacrifices and contributions to guarantee a better life for future generations in our country. Older Americans Month was established in April 1963 when President Kennedy met with the National Council of Senior Citizens, which led to his designating May as “Senior Citizens Month.” The name was later changed to “Older Americans Month,” and it now serves as a way for communities throughout America to show their unrelenting appreciation for the contributions seniors have made to their communities and country. The monthly designation helps our nation reaffirm its commitment to seniors, and it encourages organizations to offer information and resources to help seniors stay healthy and active. Every president since John F. Kennedy has delivered an official proclamation during the month of May requesting that all Americans pay homage to seniors in their communities.
Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow
Seniors in the United States are living longer, healthier, and more active lives than ever before. In July 2012, there were approximately 43 million people 65 years and older in the United States, which accounted for over 13 percent of the total population. According to the Administration for Community Living, unintentional injuries sustained by seniors lead to more than 6 million injuries that require medical attention annually. Falls account for 95 percent of hip fractures, and every year, one out of three adults over 65 experiences a fall, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learning about how to prevent falls is an important part of staying safe today to live healthier tomorrow.
With a focus on safety throughout Older Americans Month, you are encouraged to learn more about the resources, information, and services that are available to help you stay safe and prevent injury. This information will help you take control of your safety and assist you in living a longer, healthier life.