Happy Older Americans Month!
May is Older Americans Month—an annual celebration of older adults in our community and throughout the nation, and the Aging Network that serves them. And 2015 is a banner year in many ways:
- 5th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act
- 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
- 50th anniversary of three vital Congressional acts—the Older Americans Act and addition of both Medicare and Medicaid to the Social Security Act
- 80th anniversary of the Social Security Act of 1935
This May, we hope you will reflect on the ways in which the Aging Network has made a difference—for your grandparents, your parents, and yourselves. In particular, the Older Americans Act of 1965 established the Area Agencies on Aging that coordinate programs and services across the country. Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act is of such importance that the national theme for Older Americans Month is Get Into the Act!
While it would be nice to think that this history is tantamount to entitlement, continuing support from these important pieces of legislation is not guaranteed. Please read the article that follows this one—a special message from U.S. Senator Patty Murray, who introduced the Older Americans Act reauthorization. See what our national partners say about it: AARP | NCOA | N4A
Take time to celebrate, too! See the wonderful array of activities and events in this month's AgeWise King County calendar, as well as:
- Aging King County's 2015 Older Americans Month Calendar
- Healthy Aging Partnership Film Screening
- Seattle Public Library Older Americans Month Film Screenings (at the Green Lake Branch)
On a personal level, take a moment to acknowledge the elders in your life—family members, neighbors, teachers, mentors, work colleagues, and peers. It takes only a few seconds to recognize the powerful impact of those who have given us life, knowledge, community support, and Aging Network services.
On the occasion of Older Americans Month, I would like to thank the members of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services. It is such a pleasure to work with people who are strong advocates for older adults and those who have special needs—adults with disabilities, veterans, low-income residents, English language learners, grandparents raising grandchildren, and others. Good health to all!
Thank you, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine, for recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act and promoting Older Americans Month in Seattle-King County.
Thank you, Governor Jay Inslee, for declaring May 2015 as Older Americans Month in Washington State.
Contributor Ava Frisinger chairs the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services, which publishes AgeWise King County. Ava welcomes input from readers via e-mail (email@example.com) as well as applicants for open positions on the council, when they occur. For more information, visit www.agingkingcounty.org/advisory-council.