May is Older Americans Month

Following an annual custom started by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, President Obama and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) have again proclaimed May as “Older Americans Month.” Older Americans Month is an occasion to show appreciation and support for seniors and the ways in which they continue to enrich and strengthen our communities.

The theme this year is “Older Americans: Connecting the Community.” It “pays homage to the many ways in which older adults bring inspiration and continuity to the fabric of our communities, and highlights how technology is helping older Americans live longer, healthier, and more engaged lives,” according to OlderAmericansMonth.org, the website dedicated to this month-long series of events by the U.S. Administration on Aging, which is part of HHS.

The U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) is sponsoring two technology-oriented activities in observance of Older Americans Month 2011, a video challenge and a video game tournament.

The Connecting Generations Video Challenge “invites teams of two or more to submit videos that creatively demonstrate the role of older Americans in connecting the community,” the AoA explains. “Teams must include at least one person age 60 or older and one person younger than 60. Challenge entries will be posted online and participants can view and comment on all videos.”

The due date for submitting videos is May 9, 2011. For more information on the Video Contest and to submit a Video, see Challenge.gov.

Senior Centers and seniors are also invited to enter a “Community Connection Video Game Tournament.” For more information, see the AoA’s webpage on the Video Game Tournament, or the Tournament Overview on OlderAmericansMonth.org.

President Obama’s Proclamation of May, 2011 as Older Americans Month states, in part:

“As the eldest of the baby boomers turn 65, our Nation can look forward to the contributions of a new generation of American seniors. Each year, we set aside the month of May to honor older Americans, celebrate their role in steering the course of our history, and recognize their valuable insights and wisdom.”

“The theme for this year’s Older Americans Month, “Older Americans: Connecting the Community,” reminds us that seniors are continually enriching lives and contributing to our country. This theme also highlights how technology, including social media and assistive devices, can help adults remain engaged in their communities and connected to friends and family who may live far away.”

“My Administration is committed to meeting the needs and aspirations of American seniors, both now and in the future. We are working to improve the health and well-being of older men and women with a focus on preventive care and community living.”

. . .

“Having lived through many of our Nation’s most challenging times, older Americans have shaped the story of America and secured the promise of our future. We are privileged to recognize these treasured citizens during Older Americans Month, and honor both the impact they have made and their accomplishments yet to come.”

Read the entirety of President Obama’s Proclamation on Older Americans Month 2011.

For more information about Older Americans Month, visit the U.S. Administration on Aging.

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