Older Americans Month: Engage at Every Age

Aging isn’t what it used to be.

Life expectancy continues to increase among Americans, but aging may be changing in another profound way. Slower aging — actual alterations to the rate at which people age biologically — may play a significant role in lifespan, research indicates.

May is Older Americans Month, an ideal time to consider ways to continue to thrive physically and emotionally as you age.

Engaging at Every Age

“Engage at Every Age” is the theme for the 2018 observance of Older Americans Month, highlighting activities that can help individuals continue enjoying life as they get older. The month also seeks to raise awareness about the many ways older adults contribute to their local communities.

Pursuits that encourage overall well-being — including exercise classes and sports, volunteerism, classes and lectures, and enjoyment of arts and cultural programming — can help you stay engaged as you get older.

In the past, many people viewed retirement as a time to slow down, take it easy and scale back on activities. Today, however, views of aging have changed, and older adults continue to play a critical role in the fabric of their local communities. By volunteering or serving as a mentor, you can benefit others by sharing your experience and knowledge with younger generations.

Living Longer — and Living Well

Longer lifespans don’t necessarily indicate better quality of life, especially for individuals with significant physical or emotional concerns. Over the past century, life expectancy increased by some three decades on average, with many people living into their 80s, 90s and beyond.

Adults over age 60 now represent the fastest-growing segment of American society, and older adults are continuing to lead meaningful lives while pursuing activities they enjoy.

Research has found that to enjoy fulfillment in life, individuals need to feel that they have a purpose and are respected. In fact, a lack of feeling needed can have negative consequences for physical health. Beyond simply feeling needed by friends and loved ones, most people want to continue making a larger societal contribution as they age.

The Impact of ‘Delayed Aging’

As the recent study found, not everyone ages in the same way. By engaging in physically and emotionally healthy behaviors — including exercising, eating a nutritious diet, maintaining social connections and participating in mentally stimulating hobbies — individuals may be able to enjoy more years of good health.

In addition, a growing body of research indicates that attitudes about aging also impact physical health and resilience; one study found that people with positive views of aging may live several years longer than those who internalize negative stereotypes.

Embrace May as an opportunity to move outside your comfort zone, embrace a positive approach to aging and explore ways to make a difference in your community.

AlmaVia of Camarillo

Thank you Mayor Charlotte Craven and the City of Camarillo for proclaiming May as Older Americans Month!

Whereas, the City of Camarillo acknowledges that older adults represent a significant portion of our population and play an important role in our community; and
Whereas, our older adults are active community members and involved in volunteering, mentorship, arts and culture and civic engagement. They give freely of their time sharing their wealth of skills, knowledge and wisdom; and
Whereas, recognizing the successes and contributions of our community elders encourages their ongoing participation and further accomplishments; and
Whereas, it is important for all community members to take the time to recognize older adults, and the people who serve and support them, as vital citizens who contribute greatly to the community.

Thank you Mayor Gary O. Phillips and the City of San Rafael for proclaiming May as Older Americans Month and for urging residents to acknowledge older adults – and the people who serve them – as influential to the San Rafael community.

AlmaVia of San Rafael

Whereas, the City of San Rafael, includes older Americans who richly contribute to our community; and Whereas, we acknowledge that what it means “to age” has changed — for the better.
Whereas, the City of San Rafael, is committed to supporting older adults as they take charge of their health, explore new opportunities and activities, and focus on independence; and
Whereas, the City of San Rafael, can provide opportunities to enrich the lives of individuals of all ages by:

  • involving older adults in the redefinition of aging in our community and eliminating outdated perceptions;
  • promoting home- and community-based services that support independent living and holistic wellness;
  • striving to create communities where older adults are empowered and engaged;
  • providing environments that foster independence and joy;
  • fostering a culture of collaboration where older adults can learn to advocate for themselves and others; and
  • providing opportunities for older adults to engage in their community and share their experiences.

Thank you Mayor Libby Schaaf and the City of Oakland for proclaiming May as Older Americans Month!

Mercy Retirement & Care Center

Whereas, the City of Oakland, includes older Americans who richly contribute to our community; and Whereas, we acknowledge that what it means “to age” has changed — for the better.
Whereas, the City of Oakland, is committed to supporting older adults as they take charge of their health, explore new opportunities and activities, and focus on independence; and
Whereas, the City of Oakland, can provide opportunities to enrich the lives of individuals of all ages by:

  • involving older adults in the redefinition of aging in our community and eliminating outdated perceptions;
  • promoting home- and community-based services that support independent living and holistic wellness;
  • striving to create communities where older adults are empowered and engaged;
  • providing environments that foster independence and joy;
  • fostering a culture of collaboration where older adults can learn to advocate for themselves and others; and
  • providing opportunities for older adults to engage in their community and share their experiences.