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older americans month 2017Age-Friendly World! Anti-aging Workouts! Second Acts!  Lifelong Learning!

Getting older doesn’t mean what it used to and the way we talk about aging is changing too. For many Americans, it is a phase of life where interests, goals, and dreams can get a renewed energy, a fresh look or a new start. Today, aging is about eliminating outdated perceptions and living the way that suits you best. For many, getting older is an opportunity to start a new chapter with the benefit of wisdom and experience gained from a lifetime of learning and doing. A successful and fulfilling “second act” may include meaningful engagement, community volunteerism, learning, or, for some, maybe even a new career! The bottom line is that aging is as individual as the person; stereotypes of what older adulthood looks like don’t apply.

oam17showcaseb_300x250Take Barbara Hillary, for example. A nurse for 55 years who dreamed of travel, at age 75 Hillary became the first African American woman to set foot on the North Pole. In 2011, at 79, she set another first when she stepped onto the South Pole. Former president George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday by skydiving. Actress Betty White, now 95, became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live in 2010, coincidentally during May—the month recognized as Older Americans Month (OAM).

Since 1963, OAM has been a time to celebrate older Americans, their stories, and their contributions. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the annual observance offers an opportunity to learn about, support, and recognize our nation’s older citizens. This year’s theme, “Age Out Loud,” emphasizes the ways older adults are living their lives with boldness, confidence, and passion while serving as an inspiration to people of all ages!

Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) will use OAM to focus on how older adults in our communities are redefining aging. Many are taking charge of their own health, staying independent, engaging in lifelong learning, community volunteerism and advocacy efforts. We can also use this opportunity to learn how to best support older adults.

Our EOEA mission is to promote the independence, empowerment, and well-being of older adults and our top priorities are to:

  • Promote aging in place
  • Create livable communities, and
  • Build an adequate “care force.”

We are dedicated to supporting older adults, in many ways. For example, our office employs older adult “interns” who work with organizations that help older adults contribute through traditional employment or volunteer activities. Further, our Senior Nutrition Program administers 29 local programs, serving more than 8.5 million nutritionally balanced meals to 75,000 elders annually. Another great service is our S.H.I.N.E. health insurance assistance program that provides free insurance counseling to MA older adults. The more than 600 volunteer counselors helped consumers save an estimated $110,000,000+.

Join us this May as we speak up with and for Older Americans and celebrate Aging Out Loud and shine a positive light on aging!

Connect with us: 1800-AGE-INFO

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