|In almost every country, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group, as a result of both longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates.This population ageing can be seen as a success story for public health policies and for socioeconomic development, but it also challenges society to adapt, in order to maximize the health and functional capacity of older people as well as their social participation and security.
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.Older Americans Month celebrations will acknowledge the value that older adults continue to bring to our communities by making an effort to applaud recent achievements of local elders and inviting them to share the activities they do to unleash the power of age.MCC encourages you to take part in the celebrations by sharing your Older Americans Month resolutions with the U.S. Administration on Aging. Post what you will do this May to unleash the power of age on the AoA Facebook page, and follow up by sharing a picture or story about the experience later in the year.While MCC provides services, support, and resources to older adults year-round, Older Americans Month is a great opportunity to show special appreciation! We will continue to provide opportunities for elders to come together and share their experiences with one another, as well as with individuals of other generations.
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging office by visiting www.eldercare.gov or calling
Unleash the Power of Age
Older Americans Month is a proud tradition that shows our commitment to honoring the value that elders contribute to our communities. This year’s Older Americans Month theme—“Unleash the Power of Age!”—highlights the significant contributions made by thousands of older Americans across our nation.
Innovators Who Are 50+
“Over the past century the average age at which individuals produce notable inventions and ideas has increased steadily.” Benjamin Jones
Harland Sanders was no slouch as a young man, but he didn’t become the string-tied chicken mogul we know and love until he was 65.
“The Colonel” had a relatively successful restaurant and motel on U.S. 25 in Corbin, Kentucky, but when Interstate 75 opened seven miles from Sanders’ restaurant, his business begin to dwindle.
Rather than go broke, he began to work on perfecting his spice blend and quick-cooking technique for making fried chicken in 1952. He then began touring the country selling Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises, and by the time he sold the business for $2 million in 1964, there were over 900 of them.
You may not recognize Cover’s name, but you’ve surely heard of his invention, the Taser. Cover spent most of his career as a nuclear physicist who worked in aerospace and defense, including playing a significant role in supplying parts for NASA’s Apollo project.
In 1970 the 50-year-old Cover started Taser, Inc. in an effort to find a weapon that could incapacitate assailants without killing them. He received a patent for his design in 1974, and by 1980 Cover had sold the Los Angeles Police Department on using his new gadget to help apprehend violent suspects.
When Cover passed away last year at the age of 88, his device was in use in over 45 countries around the world.
Whether or not you know it, you probably owe Hoyle a tip of the cap each time you reach for a deck of cards. The Englishman is considered to be the world’s first technical writer on the rules of card games, and he didn’t put pen to paper as a young card sharp.
Hoyle was around 70 years old when he first began recording the rules of various card games in 1741; over the last 27 years of his life, his smash hit “A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist” went through over a dozen editions.
You don’t have to start early to become the richest man in the world. Mori was an economics professor until he left academia at age 55 to become a real estate investor in 1959. Mori had recently inherited a couple of buildings from his father, and he jumped headfirst into Tokyo’s real estate scene.
Mori started his second career by investing in the Minato ward where he spent his childhood, and within a matter of years he was presiding over Japan’s real estate boom.
When Mori died in 1993, he was Forbes’ two-time reigning world’s richest man with a net worth of around $13 billion. He was something of a Japanese precursor to Warren Buffett, though. Mori never seemed totally comfortable with the fame and fortune his second career won him. He dressed traditionally, abstained from alcohol, and lived a fairly modest life.
Tim and Nina Zagat
The husband-and-wife team behind the popular dining surveys of the same name were corporate lawyers when they first started printing their restaurant guides. Eventually the guides became so popular that Tim left his job as corporate counsel for Gulf & Western to manage the business in 1986 when he was 51 years old. Nina eventually left the corporate law world to work on the dining surveys as well.
Anna Mary Robertson Moses is one of the biggest names in American folk art, and she didn’t even pick up a brush until she was well into her eighth decade.
Grandma Moses was originally a big fan of embroidery, but once her arthritis grew too painful for her to hold a needle, she decided to give painting a try in the mid-1930s.
She was 76 when she cranked out her first canvas, and she lived another 25 years as a painter — long enough to see the canvases she had sold for $3 fetch prices north of $10,000.
An even older example is Bill Traylor who started drawing at age 83. Another painter who started late in life is Alfred Wallis who began painting after his wife’s death in his 60s. Mary Delany produced her “paper mosaiks [sic]” from the age of 71 to 88.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” may be some of the world’s most beloved children’s books, but she was no spring chicken when she sat down to write them. Wilder didn’t publish her first novel until she was 65 years old, but she still managed to crank out one of the most beloved series of all time.
Sure, Reagan had been no slouch as an actor, but he wasn’t elected to his first public office until he was 55 years old. In 1966 Reagan won California’s gubernatorial race by over a million votes.
Prior to his election, Reagan had done some politicking as the president of the Screen Actors Guild and as spokesman for General Electric, but nothing on his resume made him look like a sure-fire two-term president.
Melchora Aquino was an uneducated Filipino peasant woman, the mother of six children, who became an activist in the fight to gain independence from Spain. Known as the Grand Woman of the revolution, she was 84 when the Philippine Revolution broke out in 1896
Marjory Stoneman Douglas‘s might also fit. Her first environmental work of note occurred when she was almost 60, at 78 she founded “Friends of the Everglades”, and she continued until she was over age 100
Sensory impairments are a substantial problem for older adults. One out of six has impaired vision; one out of four has impaired hearing; one out of four has loss of feeling in the feet; and three out of four have abnormal postural balance testing.
Visual impairment: Not being able to read letters or numbers of the line 20/50 or below on the visual acuity chart in the Better-Seeing Eye. This is the individual’s distance visual acuity, measured with the person’s distance glasses or contact lenses on, if the person wears them.
Hearing impairment (moderate to severe): Defined as an unassisted, pure tone audiometric average (at 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, 2000, and 4000 Hz) of greater than 40 dB in the better ear. This degree of hearing loss means that you are not able to hear and repeat words that a person says if they talk to you in a normal voice from across a quiet room.
Balance (vestibular) impairment: Failure to be able to stand on one’s own to complete test condition 4 of the Modified Romberg Test of Standing Balance (swaying of the body or falling when the eyes are closed while standing with the feet close together). Test condition 4 is standing on a 3 inch thick foam pad for 30 seconds with the eyes shut.
Loss of feeling in the feet (lower extremity insensate peripheral sensory neuropathy): No feeling in the feet, defined as complete failure to feel a standard 5.07 Semmes-Weinstein nylon monofilament in one or more test areas of either foot .
Global Health and Aging
Health Information for Older Adults Resource
The number of persons aged 50 years and older living with HIV/AIDS has been increasing in recent years. This increase is partly due to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which has made it possible for many HIV-infected persons to live longer, and partly due to newly diagnosed infections in persons over the age of 50. As the US population continues to age, it is important to be aware of specific challenges faced by older Americans and to ensure that they get information and services to help protect them from infection.
The federal legal framework for all-hazards emergency preparedness and response includes laws, regulations, and executive orders. State legislatures also enact statutes and authorize regulations which create and empower state public health departments, emergency management, and other public safety agencies to plan for all-hazard emergencies.
Memorandum of Understanding & Mutual Aid Agreements
HIPAA, Privacy & Confidentiality
Privacy & Confidentiality
Protecting the privacy of individuals and the confidentiality of their health and personal information is a concern for any entity taking part in emergency preparedness, planning, or response. While the terms are often used interchangeably, they have distinct legal significance.
Partners from multiple sectors have some degree of responsibility for identifying and protecting vulnerable older adults during all-hazards public health emergencies. All emergency responders should have a basic understanding of the unique needs of this population in order to plan and care for them in an emergency. Service organizations should also consider training volunteers about the needs of older adults, as well as address any issues volunteers themselves may face due to their own age and medical conditions.
Open-ended Working Group on Ageing for the purpose of strengthening the protection of the human rights of older persons
Maintaining social patterns
The Importance of Socialization
It’s true that no man is an island; we thrive on relationships, with our friends, coworkers, acquaintances and family members. We all need a sense of belonging, of oneness other human beings, and this is why we socialize. And although we tend to interact with others during our teenage and early adult years, we need an active social life more than ever as we grow old. If you’re in your 60s or 70s, it’s important that you maintain a strong network of friends, family and acquaintances because:.
Studies continue to document the positive effect of social relationships in health in general, and in reducing mortality in particular.
Patterns of Social Relationships Japan
To Increase Longevity, Friends Are More Important Than Family
The Benefits of Intergenerational Programs
The abuse of older people by family members dates back to ancient times. Until the advent of initiatives to address child abuse and domestic violence in the last quarter of the 20th century, it remained a private matter, hidden from public view. Initially seen as a social welfare issue and subsequently a problem of ageing, abuse of the elderly, like other forms of family violence, has developed into a public health and criminal justice concern.
Abuse of the Elderly
Elder maltreatment is a serious problem that can have harmful effects on victims. The goal for elder maltreatment prevention is simple: to stop it from happening in the first place. However, the solutions are as complex as the problem. Knowledge about what works to prevent elder maltreatment is growing. However, most prevention strategies and practices have not yet been rigorously evaluated to determine their effectiveness. In the absence of proven prevention strategies, program planners may wish to consider the following sources to strengthen their approach.
Injuries at home and at play are not accidents. They can be prevented. CDC focuses on the science behind making people safe – working to prevent leading causes of injuries, including drowning, falls, fires, and poisoning. Home and recreation-related injuries affect people of all ages, from infants to older adults, and account for about a third of all injury-related emergency department visits. CDC works to ensure that all people have safe and healthy homes and places to play. Preventing unintentional injuries is a step toward ensuring that all Americans live to their full potential.
Loss, Grief, Death and Dying
Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. While its causes are complex and determined by multiple factors, the goal of suicide prevention is simple: Reduce factors that increase risk (i.e. risk factors) and increase factors that promote resilience (i.e. protective factors). Ideally, prevention addresses all levels of influence: individual, relationship, community, and societal. Effective prevention strategies are needed to promote awareness of suicide and encourage a commitment to social change.
CDC Injury Center’s publications are designed for professional health practitioners, researchers, and the general public. Many of our publications are also available for ordering in hard copy at no cost.