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.
Executive Office Approves New Leaders for Elder Affairs, Transitional Assistance posted on Apr 22
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services recently announced appointments in two key positions – the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and Department of Transitional Assistance. We are pleased to welcome Secretary Alice Bonner and Commissioner Jeff McCue. Alice Bonner is a nationally known …Continue Reading Executive Office Approves New Leaders for Elder Affairs, Transitional Assistance
THE OPIOID CRISIS: Governor’s Working Group Hears From The Community posted on Apr 9
Four listening sessions. Hundreds of voices. “My daughter felt ashamed, isolated. Stigma keeps kids from getting help.” -Jennifer “We need to create compelling reasons for parents to come to the table and have conversations and we are not talking about middle school and high school. …Continue Reading THE OPIOID CRISIS: Governor’s Working Group Hears From The Community
From Serving Homeless To Setting Policy: Meet Dr. Monica Bharel posted on Feb 25
We are proud to welcome a champion of human rights and health care for everyone. From tackling homelessness to reducing disparities in care, Dr. Monica Bharel, our new Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, will bring experience and passion to the task of keeping …Continue Reading From Serving Homeless To Setting Policy: Meet Dr. Monica Bharel