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Family Caregiving for Seniors - SageCorner Blog

Celebrating Older Americans

by Deah on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 3:28 PM

Every May, since 1963, we have celebrated the contributions elderly people make in our lives and in our country. When President Kennedy, with the help of The National Council of Senior Citizens, issued the formal proclamation, then known as “Senior Citizen Month”, about 17 million living Americans had reached the age of 65. About a third of older citizens lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs.

Every president since has issued the same formal proclamation in support of our elderly. In 1980, the name of this observance was changed to Older Americans Month and continues to be a time to acknowledge the many contribution these folks have and continue to make through ceremonies, events and public recognition.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) now leads this observance and has declared this year’s theme to be Connect, Create, Contribute; encouraging older adults and their communities to:

• Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.

• Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.

• Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

My children were close to their paternal grandmother and she had a great impact on their lives. As I was a working mother and she lived close by she was always looking out for them after school with special treats and fun things to do. Her influence not only taught them love and respect but self-esteem and discipline. Many grandparents continue to help look after children. I help my children out when one of their children are sick and not able to attend school, my knowledge of gardening is often sought, and so much more when I stop to think about it.

Society historically took a blind eye when calculating the elderly value to society. Not me. Mostly because I am quickly becoming one of those elderly people myself, but also because there is so much I can still do to contribute to my family and society. We contribute when we volunteer. Many seniors do volunteer work as they now have the time to do so. As an every growing group we have an ever growing economic impact by paying taxes, shopping, donating to charities, and so much more.

My parents are still with us and I often run things by them. Our elders have great wisdom to impart. As a younger person I did not think that true so I am very happy that we set this month aside to encourage all of us to recognize the value of older Americans.

I refuse to be looked at as a burden to the social security and healthcare systems. I have worked hard and earned my right to continue to be a contribution to society.

Author
Deah

Tips and ideas to help care for a senior loved one at home.

  

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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