HISTORY OF OLDER AMERICANS MONTH
When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of those lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet there 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.
Historically, Older Americans month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of the past and current older persons in our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every president since Kennedy has issued a proclamation during and before the month of May asking that the entire nation pays tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs and other activities.
Between 2012 and 2050, the United States will experience considerable growth in its older population growing from its current rate of 43.1 million Americans aged 65 an older to an estimated 83.7 million in 2050.
The aging of the population has wide ranging implications for the country from a policy standpoint. By “aging” demographers often mean the proportion of the population in the older age’s increases. As the United States continues to age, policy makers will be presented with challenges and programs such as Social Security and Medicare will no longer exist in their present form. It will also affect families, businesses and health care providers. We at MyLife encourage you to contact your representatives and demand that these programs stay fully funded.