May is Older Adults Month
May is Older Americans Month. It has been proclaimed as such since the time of President John F. Kennedy. When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthdays. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Now, our nation is in the midst of a boom in the aging population. Older people are living longer and staying healthier and more active much later in life. In 2011, the first wave of the 78 million baby boom generation turns 65. More than ever, we need to recognize the need for and give attention to ministries with older adults in our churches.
Additional information and materials can be found on the U.S. Administration on Aging Web site at: http://www.aoa.gov. Visit this site and plan to celebrate the vast contributions of older adults in our congregations.
The first Sunday in May - May 5, 2013 - is Older Adult Recognition Sunday. In 2008, General Conference adopted legislation inviting congregations to celebrate Older Adult Recognition Day each year during May. The Virginia Conference was well ahead of this legislation when in 2006 the first Sunday in May of each year was designated as Older Adult Recognition Sunday. Through an Older Adult Recognition Sunday, United Methodists are invited to show appreciation and support for older adults who continue to enrich and strengthen our faith communities. This Sunday should also call the church to action in addressing the needs of older adults in the congregation and community.
Click here for worship services and liturgies that can be used for Older Adult Recognition Sunday.
May is also "Adult Abuse Prevention Month." Online access to adult abuse prevention resources can be found at www.SeniorNavigator.com. You will find resources that can be downloaded to help educate your congregation and increase public awareness about the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older adults and persons with disabilities.