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May is Older Americans Month

In conjunction with National Nursing Home Week, May is Older Americans Month, continuing a tradition of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging, that began in 1963 when, according to the AoA’s website, “only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthdays. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. In April of 1963, President John F. Kennedy’s meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens served as a prelude to designating May as Senior Citizens Month. Thanks to President Jimmy Carter’s 1980 designation, what was once called Senior Citizens Month, is now called Older Americans Month and has become a tradition. Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every President since JFK has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs and other such activities.”  The theme for the 2009 Older Americans Month is Living Today for a Better Tomorrow.

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