When Older Americans Month was established in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs.
Today, there an estimated 78 million Baby Boomers in the US, and together with Elders (the generation older than Boomers), they represent the largest single generation in American history. More than one-third of the Metro Denver population is comprised of Baby Boomers. Since 2011, and for at least the next decade, 10,000 people in the Boomer generation turn age 65 EVERY DAY. The second fastest growing age demographic in the US are those living to be age 100 or older!
This year’s Older Americans Month theme is “Get into the Act.” It aims to bring attention to how older adults are engaged in their communities having a positive impact on the lives of others. Did you know that more than 20 million “senior” volunteers give nearly 3 billion hours of service annually, at a value of $67 billion?
If we embrace the wisdom, experience and skills of older Americans to help with the many issues that need attention in our world, there could be amazing, positive results:
For information on Inter-generational Programming contact Debbie MacKillop at Dmackillop@jccdenver.org.