Here are a few of the things we know about the older adult population:
- The older population (65+) numbered 41.4 million in 2011, an increase of 6.3 million or 18% since 2000.
- Over one in every eight, or 13.3%, of the population is an older American.
- Almost 3.6 million elderly persons (8.7%) were below the poverty level in 2011.
- The Round Rock-Austin metropolitan area had the fastest growing “pre-senior” (age 55-64) population in the country, with a 110% change.
- Growth of the senior (age 65+) population ranked second nationally over the same period.
In the news, most of what you hear about aging is reflects negative or worried attitudes like how the ‘silver tsunami’ is coming and how the community isn’t ready to adequately deal with the booming population of older adults. At AGE of Central Texas, our business is to face the negativity head on to meet the needs of seniors in our community and help older adults age with dignity and vitality.
Thankfully, the time is upon us to focus on the positivity of aging– May is Older Americans Month! Every year since 1963, May has been the month to appreciate and celebrate the vitality and aspirations of older adults and their contributions and achievements. It is a proud tradition that shows our nation’s commitment to honor the value that elders continue to contribute to our communities.
This year’s Older Americans Month theme—“Unleash the Power of Age!”—emphasizes the important role of older adults. This May, communities across the nation will recognize older Americans as productive, active, and influential members of society.
While AGE provides services, support, and resources to older adults year-round, Older Americans Month is a great opportunity to show special appreciation!
Older Americans share essential talents, wisdom, and life experience with their families, friends, and neighbors. Many seniors are working longer (and retiring later), providing essential experience and skills to the workforce. Older adults have the opportunity to engage more with their families, assisting with caregiving and other duties. After retirement, older adults contribute an incredible amount to the community through formal and informal volunteer work (a great example of this is AGE’s Computer Lab which offers dozens of class sessions each month and is run ENTIRELY by volunteers).
There are so many ways that older adults ‘unleash the power of age’ to make this a better place. Join us this month as we take special time to reflect upon how our elders make this world wonderful!