I would like to encourage you to take a moment to reflect and connect with any older person who has made a difference in your life and acknowledge the contribution they have made to others.
Older Americans should be honored. What better time than during May, Older Americans Month.
When I was a middle schooler, maybe younger, my friends and I considered someone in their late 20’s to 30 year of age as being old. If we look back in history, the average life expectancy during the 1800’s was mid-thirties. Women died in childbirth and plagues could wipe out a town. During that time period, if you were in your twenties, you definitely bordered on old age.
Why have an Older Americans Month
According to the Administration for Community Living, “When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to “Older Americans Month.”
Some of you reading this may remember Erma Bombeck who said, “If life is a bowl of cherries, then what am I doing in the pits?” There are those of us who can relate to that.
During my journey in life, I have tried to find or create ways to live a positive experience when dealing with “the pits” in life. I call these experiences “Purposeful Projects.”
In the 1960’s, concerns for the care of the elderly heightened. Programming and resources were limited.
As a young mother in the 1970’s, I began teaching a craft class for homemakers and older citizens at Highland Community Ministries (HCM) while my daughter attended Mother’s Day Out.
I volunteered at the newly formed HCM Adult Day Center in the late 1970’s by providing a Creative Expression program which consisted of writing, arts and crafts.
Older Americans work and volunteer in communities across the US. By paying tribute to men and women who raised, inspired, guided and protected us, we are honoring their involvement and impact on our lives.
By volunteering with or for older Americans, you can strengthen intergeneration connections while giving back to the community.
“Americans who volunteer are also likely to be healthier. There are abundant opportunities to get healthy by volunteering on public land.”” ~~ National Get Outdoors Day
You may want to get outdoors and volunteer, Day of Hope needs your help on June 11 for Get Outdoors Day.
With advanced education and modern technology, the face of the older American has changed. You might want to take a look at 1900-2000: Changes in Life Expectancy in the United States
“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” ~Erma Bombeck Volunteers of all ages are SPECIAL…THANK YOU
Sharon Cecil, RN