All through the month of May, the Mississippi Census will be celebrating Older Americans Month!
When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans at the time were at least 65-years-old. Interest in older Americans and their health had grown, considering that about a third of them lived in poverty and there were historically few programs designed to meet their needs.
In April 1963, President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens decided to designate May as ‘Senior Citizens Month,’ the precursor to ‘Older Americans Month.’
Ever since then, Older Americans Month has been considered a time to express appreciation for all of the older individuals in our country and their contributions to it, particularly those who have fought for our country.
According to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), “Every President since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities. Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other such activities.” Here was President Trump’s from last year.
Every year, Older Americans Month has a theme and this year’s theme is “Make Your Mark.” According to the ACL, “This theme was selected to encourage and celebrate countless contributions that older adults make to our communities. Their time, experience, and talents benefit family, peers, and neighbors every day. Communities, organizations, and individuals of all ages are also making their marks. This year’s theme highlights the difference everyone can make – in the lives of older adults, in support of caregivers, and to strengthen communities.”
Every American, no matter how old or young they might be, counts for the 2020 U.S. Census. If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to take the time to complete your census: every Mississippian represents up to $50,000 in federal funding for our state over the next 10 years! That’s money for healthcare, nutrition, public housing, education, roads, and more! You can fill out the census online, over the phone, or through the mail!