May 2023 marks the 60th year of celebration of Older Americans Month. First recognized in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, Older Americans Month (OAM) is a time of appreciation and celebration of older Americans. OAM is spearheaded by the Administration for Community Living, and through OAM they aim to champion the contributions and accomplishments of older Americans.
According to the US Census Bureau, it is estimated there are over 55.8 million adults aged 65+ in the United States, comprising roughly 16.8% of the total population (2021). In Colorado specifically, seniors represent a large sector of our community. It is expected as soon as this year that there will be more Coloradans aged 60+ than those aged 18 and below. As seniors make up such a large part of our community, it is vital that we support and uplift them.
This year’s Older Americans Month theme is Aging Unbound, which specifically focuses on exploring diverse aging experiences and combating stereotypes surrounding aging. As a community, we can engage in many ways to promote the wellbeing, prosperity, and independence of seniors.
Spark the Change Colorado is proud to celebrate Older Americans Month! There are several ways to get involved with our Empowering Aging programs, both part of the national service agency, AmeriCorps Seniors.
The Senior Companion Program empowers individuals aged 55+ to support other Coloradans aged 55+ through companionship, providing transportation, and help with errands, chores, and other household activities. Participation in the Senior Companion Program supports independence among older Coloradans.
The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) matches adults aged 55+ to front line service opportunities in the community. Specifically, this program focuses on food insecurity in seven counties throughout the state. The RSVP program allows older Coloradans to remain active in their communities through positive change.
For those under 55 years, you can support our Empowering Aging programs through donations, which make a HUGE impact in helping these programs run successfully. Beyond our programs, there are still many ways to make a positive impact this OAM! From helping an older neighbor with their grocery shopping, aiding with household chores, or simply having a conversation over a cup of coffee or tea.
As a community we can empower seniors by celebrating their role in our community and supporting their success!
Below are more resources to learn about Older Americans Month, and ways to make a positive impact on seniors in our community.
- Older Americans Month 2023: Administration for Community Living
- White House Proclamation on Older Americans Month
- City of Boulder: Helping Older Adults Thrive
- Douglas County Honors May as Older Americans Month
- Colorado Commission on Aging
- Colorado Older Adult Services
- Volunteer with Older Adults
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