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According to the US Census Bureau, there are currently more than 55 million Americans who are aged 65 years or older, making Older Americans Month a truly significant event! 

History of Older Americans Month

The beginnings of Older Americans Month can be traced back several decades to the 1960s. During this time, only 17 million Americans had reached their 65th birthday and approximately one-third of these were living in poverty with little assistance from the government. When President John F. Kennedy met with members for the National Council for Senior Citizens in April 1963, the plans for this important event were born.

Each year since its inaugural celebration, every US president has issued a formal proclamation for the month of May, originally called Senior Citizens Month and later taking on the name Older Americans Month. The purpose of the event is to encourage Americans of all ages to acknowledge and pay tribute to older people who live in their communities. With ceremonies, parties, community events, activities and more, this month brings a wide array of opportunities to get involved.

How to Celebrate Older Americans Month

Take some time to show some honor and respect to those in the generation ahead by participating in Older Americans Month with some of these ideas:

Spend Time with an Older American

Friends, family members, neighbors and other community members of all ages are encouraged to get involved with this event by showing some appreciation for an aging person. While it’s important to check in on older loved ones all throughout the year, Older Americans Month can be a helpful reminder. Visit a grandparent or other older person and ask them to tell some of their stories. Take an aging friend to an appointment or community event. Or volunteer in the community by providing transportation or other support as a volunteer for a non-profit organization.

Sign Up for Older Americans Perks

People who are over a certain age – sometimes as young as 50 – can receive benefits just because of their years of experience. In celebration of Older Americans Month, it might be interesting to check out the different options that are offered to save on products and services that people use every day.

From retail shops to restaurants, from pharmacies to movie theaters or even banking, there are plenty of ways to save just by being an older person! The AARP website is a great place to find a list of such opportunities. For instance, some McDonald’s restaurants offer free or discounted coffee to those over the age of 55 while many cinemas and retail establishments have a special discount day for seniors every week or every month. 

Check Out Resources for Older Americans

For many decades, the US government has been working along with many charities to provide for the needs of aging adults. Older Americans Month is a perfect time to consider the many resources provided to make life a little easier for those who are retired and often living on a fixed income. Start with the Library of Congress resources that benefit those starting at age 55 or older. 

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