For Immediate Release - May 03, 2016

Celebrate Older Americans Month in May

Older Americans Are Blazing a Trail

BOSTON — Older adults are a growing and increasingly vital part of our country. The contributions they make to our communities are varied, deeply rooted, and include influential roles in the nation’s economy, politics, and the arts. From 69-year-old NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr. to 84-year-old actress Rita Moreno to 83-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who took her seat as a Supreme Court Justice at age 60, older adults are blazing trails in every aspect of American life.

In 1963, we began to acknowledge the contributions of older people by using the month of May to celebrate Older Americans Month (OAM). Led by the Administration for Community Living, the annual observance offers the opportunity to learn about, support, and celebrate our nation’s older citizens. This year’s theme, “Blaze a Trail,” emphasizes the ways older adults are reinventing themselves through new work and new passions, engaging their communities, and having a positive impact on the lives of people of all ages.

Here are some statistics about Older Americans Month:

  • When Older Americans Month was first established by President John F. Kennedy in May 1963, there were 17 million Americans age 65+. As of 2014, there were 44.7 million Americans age 65+, and they account for approximately 14.5% of the U.S. population. In the next 25 years 1 in 5 Americans will be an older adult.
  • 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day, and this year marks the first time that members of the baby boomer generation will turn 70 years of age.
  • Older Americans are more active and engaged than ever. 19% of older Americans are employed, and many of them, 4.9 million, have fulltime year-round jobs.[1]This number has tripled since 1993. Furthermore, the number of Americans age 75 or older that are working has increased by 140%.
  • It is estimated that by 2033 the number of Americans aged 65+ will outnumber Americans aged 18 or younger.

While the Executive Office of Elder Affairs promotes the independence, empowerment, and well-being of older adults, individuals with disabilities, and their caregivers adults year-round, we see Older Americans Month as a way to focus on how older adults in our community are leading and inspiring others, how we can support and learn from them, and how we might follow their examples to blaze a trail of our own.

According to Secretary of EOEA, Alice Bonner, PhD, RN, “At the Executive Office of Elder Affairs we share a vision where all adults and individuals with disabilities will have access to the resources they need to live well and thrive in every community in the Commonwealth. We encourage you to get involved by engaging in your community, participating in the dialogue about Older Americans Month, and by blazing your own trail! “

To learn more about Executive Office of Elder Affairs services in your area, contact your area agency on aging: www.800ageinfo.com 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636).

Discover more about Older Americans Month: Visit www.acl.gov/olderamericansmonth.