In 1963, President John F. Kennedy’s meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens was the impetus for the dedication of May as Senior Citizens Month. At the time, 17 million people had reached their 65th birthday, and very few programs existed to meet their needs as they aged.
U.S. Census projections indicate that by 2050, 86.7 million people will be aged 65 or more years. This age group would comprise 21 percent of America’s projected total population at that time.
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter designated May as Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of older persons to the enrichment and defense of America, particularly those who served in the military.
This year’s theme is “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.” Older adults have a higher risk of injury, especially from falls, and death than other age groups. Use this month to create awareness of this critical safety issue. To bring this message to your community, the Administration for Community Living has a number of items available. Visit the website for banners, logos, safety tip sheet and other materials to raise safety awareness and display the “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow” message in your facility and at scheduled events.