We have seen many changes since 1963 when the first Older Americans Month celebration was held. At that time, only 17 million Americans still living had celebrated their 65th birthdays. Today, thanks to advances in health care, life style changes, availability of services and changing attitudes, there are more than 45 million people over the age of 65 and this number will almost double by the year 2030. This is the result of our growing Baby Boomer population of those of us born between the years of 1946 and 1964. This is a wonderful time for us to reflect on the past and plan for the future. This year’s theme for Older Americans Month is “Never Too Old to Play.” This theme is intended to highlight the important role older adults have in sharing their experiences, wisdom and understanding. This theme also points to the contributions and achievements of older citizens who pass their knowledge on to other generations in many significant ways including volunteerism, civic engagement and participation with various activities.
Many events and recognitions will be held during May 2012 in the Greater Richmond Region to recognize and celebrate our older citizens. Chief among these is the presentation of Older American Month Proclamations by all of our local governments. These Proclamations urge all citizens to take time this month to engage with older citizens and to recognize them as our most valuable resources. Another important event will be our Agency’s Open House on May 22 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. This year’s Open House will highlight our programs and introduce some of our valuable Community Partners. We hope you will join us for our Open House and find other ways to celebrate Older Americans Month this year. Throughout the year, please join us in celebrating and supporting older adults, individuals with disabilities, caregivers and families. Thank you for your interest and concern.