Post Content

Sec. hartsteinBy Elder Affairs Secretary Ann Hartstein

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.

 

Written By:

Recent Posts

Celebrate Mental Health Month with DMH! posted on May 16

Celebrate Mental Health Month with DMH!

Please join the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and individuals and organizations from across the nation this May in observing Mental Health Month! Each May, Mental Health Month is observed to raise awareness about mental health related   …Continue Reading Celebrate Mental Health Month with DMH!

Age Out Loud! Celebrate Older Americans Month in May posted on May 1

Age Out Loud! Celebrate Older Americans Month in May

Age-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,   …Continue Reading Age Out Loud! Celebrate Older Americans Month in May

Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month posted on Apr 19

Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of National Healthcare Decisions Day, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services is proud to support Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month (HDM). Led by the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care*, HDM is a month-long public awareness campaign promoting   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month