Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends….

May 1, 2019

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, May is Older Americans Month which means people over their 65th birthday. Many of us are retired or retiring but we still have a lot of years left in us to contribute to society. Any ideas on how to move forward from here?

A: Welcome to May, which is – among other things – Older Americans Month. Older woman sharing with a young boy at a service festivalWhen this special designation was given to May in 1963, “only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthdays,” according to the Administration on Aging. “About a third of older Americans lived in poverty, and there were few programs to meet their needs.” As of 2015, 47.8 million people had reached their 65 birthday which is 15% of the population. This number is expected to rise to 19% by 2030.

Our research came up with the following:

“Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads our nation’s observance of Older Americans Month. We are pleased to announce the 2019 theme, Connect, Create, Contribute, which encourages older adults and their communities to:

  • Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.

  • Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.

  • Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

“Communities that encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger! By engaging and supporting all community members, we recognize that older adults play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives.”

Mr. Pedometer was unaware that we had an Administration for Community Living (ACL), so looked up what they were about:

Mission & Strategic Plan (of ACL):

“All Americans—including people with disabilities and older adults—should be able to live at home with the supports they need, participating in communities that value their contributions. To help meet these needs, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in 2012.

“ACL brings together the efforts and achievements of the Administration on Aging (AoA), the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), and the HHS Office on Disability to serve as the Federal agency responsible for increasing access to community supports, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities across the lifespan.”

Mission

“Maximize the independence, well-being, and health of older adults, people with disabilities across the lifespan, and their families and caregivers.”

Each year, the White House issues a presidential proclamation regarding Older Americans Month. This year’s proclamation included the following:

“Older Americans enrich our lives in innumerable ways. Their diverse experiences and time-tested wisdom guide younger generations, connect them with our country’s history, and empower them with the confidence to face the future. Older Americans devote themselves to their families. They lend their experience in the work place. They volunteer for religious and community organizations. In every context, they deepen our appreciation for country, they model selfless service to others, and they remain vibrant and contributing participants in the American experience.”

In keeping with the 2019 Older Americans Month theme of CONNECT, CREATE, AND CONTRIBUTE, Mr. Pedometer notes that those of us who  “Walk ‘n’ Talk” together on Saturday mornings are fulfilling the three C’s in an easy, enjoyable way!

EAT RIGHT, MOVE MORE, AND SLEEP WELL TO BE WELL.