May is Older Americans Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of the nation’s seniors. Since 1963, when President John F. Kennedy first proclaimed May as Senior Citizens Month, political officials, advocacy groups, community organizations and families have highlighted achievements of seniors and the value in acknowledging their importance. Each generation strengthens the foundation for the next generation.
In 1963, there were 17 million Americans over the age of sixty five. Fifty years later there are more than 40 million Americans over sixty-five, and since last year, baby boomers have been aging in at the rate of 10,000 a day.
In Massachusetts nearly 1 million people are sixty-five or older. With Massachusetts life expectancy at 80.2 years – two years longer than the national average – and people who reach sixty-five likely to live another twenty years, seniors are the fastest growing segment of the total population. In fact, the expectation is that if you aren’t a senior yet, you will live to be one. And, you are going to be healthier, more active, and more engaged than any previous senior population.
This year, the Older Americans Month theme is: Never Too Old To Play. Many seniors, particularly baby boomers, already keep fit with some form of regular exercise – yoga, Zumba, ballroom dancing, golf, tennis, walking, swimming, bowling, weight-training – all of which promote longer, healthier, more satisfying lives. There are other ways to play as well: hobbies – painting, singing, acting, sewing, gardening, crafts. The point is that there are endless numbers of ways to enjoy yourself and stay connected.
If you are a senior or a senior’s family member looking for ways to “play,” let me suggest that you begin at your local Council on Aging or senior center. Check out the Key Resources section of the mass.gov/elders homepage to find a center near you. If you don’t already, start playing, and if you do, bring a friend.
A First-Hand Look at Mosquito Surveillance posted on Jul 28
Each summer, the Department of Public Health works closely with local and regional partners to protect Massachusetts residents against the risk of West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) – two serious diseases which are spread though the bite of an infected mosquito. …Continue Reading A First-Hand Look at Mosquito Surveillance
Veterans: Find your Sisterhood in Massachusetts posted on Jul 23
The Massachusetts Women Veterans’ Network of the Department of Veterans’ Services (WVN) has been connecting women veterans with benefits, services, and each other, since 1997. Since its founding, the Network has been the central resource for women veterans across the Commonwealth, and continues to connect its members …Continue Reading Veterans: Find your Sisterhood in Massachusetts
Department of Developmental Services: Finding Meaning Through Art posted on Jul 18
Mary DeCesar recently stopped by the DDS central office to donate one of her drawings for our reception area. Mary works at Gateway Arts, a DDS contracted program. While Mary has become an accomplished artist, her life story is just as compelling. Born with an …Continue Reading Department of Developmental Services: Finding Meaning Through Art