Older Americans Month Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

May is Older Americans Month—a time to celebrate and pay tribute to older people across the country. Every year since 1992, the Administration on Aging has selected a theme for Older Americans Month. The theme for May 2018 is Engage at Every Age. The Administration for Community Living website contains a list of past themes.

This guide is designed to assist congressional offices with work-related Older Americans Month celebrations. It contains a brief history with resources for additional historical, legislative and budget information, CRS reports, examples of speeches and recognitions from the legislative branch, presidential proclamations, and statistics and projections from authoritative government sources. The sections “Resources for Older Americans,” “Educational Opportunities for Seniors,” and “Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors” contain selected resources that may be of interest to constituents.

Older Americans Month Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

May 3, 2018 (R43978)

Introduction

May is Older Americans Month—a time to celebrate and pay tribute to older people across the country. Every year since 1992, the Administration on Aging (AOA) has selected a theme for Older Americans Month (OAM). The theme for May 2018 is Engage at Every Age. The website of the AOA's Administration for Community Living states

Participating in activities that promote mental and physical wellness, offering your wisdom and experience to the next generation, seeking the mentorship of someone with more life experience than you—those are just a few examples of what being engaged can mean. No matter where you are in your life, there is no better time than now to start. We hope you will join in and Engage at Every Age!

This guide is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Older Americans Month celebrations. It contains a brief history with resources for additional historical, legislative, and budget information; CRS reports; examples of speeches and recognitions from the legislative branch; presidential proclamations; and statistics and projections from authoritative government sources. The sections "Resources for Older Americans," "Educational Opportunities for Seniors," and "Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors" contain selected resources that may be of interest to constituents.

History

President John F. Kennedy designated May 1963 as Senior Citizens Month to pay tribute to citizens aged 65 and older. President Jimmy Carter changed the name to Older Americans Month in 1980. The Administration for Community Living website contains additional history of Older Americans Month.

Legislation and Budget

The Older Americans Act (OAA) was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 14, 1965, and supports a range of social services and programs for individuals aged 60 years or older.

Congress has reauthorized and amended the OAA numerous times since it was first enacted. Most recently, President Barack Obama signed P.L. 114-144, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016, on April 19, 2016. The law reauthorized the OAA through FY2019.

The Older Americans Act (P.L. 89-73)

The Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016 (P.L. 114-144)

Current Budget Information (Administration for Community Living)

CRS Reports

The Congressional Research Service has prepared several reports that explain or address issues of concern to older Americans. Some of these include the following.

The Older Americans Act and Related Programs

CRS Report R43414, Older Americans Act: Background and Overview, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

CRS Report R44485, Older Americans Act: 2016 Reauthorization, by [author name scrubbed].

CRS Report RS22549, Older Americans Act: Funding Formulas, by [author name scrubbed].

CRS In Focus IF10633, Older Americans Act: Nutrition Services Program, by [author name scrubbed].

Other Programs and Issues Focused on Older Americans

CRS Report R40425, Medicare Primer, coordinated by [author name scrubbed].

CRS Report R42035, Social Security Primer, by [author name scrubbed].

CRS Report R43707, The Elder Justice Act: Background and Issues for Congress, by [author name scrubbed].

CRS In Focus IF10322, Medicaid Primer, by [author name scrubbed].

Sample Congressional Speeches and Recognitions

Members of Congress often make floor statements, issue press releases, or enter Extensions of Remarks into the Congressional Record to recognize federal holidays and observances. The following are some recent examples that may be of assistance in preparing such statements.

Senator Susan M. Collins, "Senate Resolution 172 - Designating May 2017 as 'Older Americans Month'," Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 163 (May 18, 2017), p. S3045.

Representative Joyce Beatty, "Recognizing the 52nd Anniversary of the Older Americans Act," Extensions of Remarks, Congressional Record, vol. 163 (July 14, 2017), p. E990.

Senator Bernard Sanders, "Anniversary and Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act," Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 162 (July 14, 2016), pp. S5143-S5144.

Senator Lamar Alexander, "Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016," Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 162 (April 19, 2016), pp. S2194-S2195.

Representative James P. McGovern, "Older Americans Month and Senior Hunger," House, Congressional Record, vol. 162 (May 24, 2016), pp. H2966-H2967.

Representative Joyce Beatty, "Recognizing Older Americans Month and Diabetes Awareness," Extensions of Remarks, Congressional Record, vol. 162 (May 23, 2016), p. E765.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, "Older Americans Month," Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 162 (May 23, 2016), p. S3052.

Representative Raul M. Grijalva, "Honoring Senior Corps Week and the Service of Older Americans, Extensions of Remarks, Congressional Record, vol. 162 (May 16, 2016), p. E707.

Representative Brian Higgins, "Recognizing Older Americans Month," Extensions of Remarks, Congressional Record, vol. 162 (May 10, 2016), p. E656.

Presidential Proclamations

One of the many uses of a presidential proclamation is to ceremoniously honor a group or call attention to certain issues or events. Some recent Older Americans Month proclamations, from the Compilation of Presidential Documents, include

Proclamation 9599—Older Americans Month, 2017

Proclamation 9436—Older Americans Month, 2016

Proclamation 9268Older Americans Month, 2015

Proclamation 9114—Older Americans Month, 2014

Proclamation 8971—Older Americans Month, 2013

Proclamation 8809—Older Americans Month, 2012

Earlier presidential proclamations are available through the Federal Digital System (FDsys) on the Government Publishing Office website.

Statistics

Numerous federal agencies maintain statistics on the elderly. Some useful data include

U.S. Census Bureau, Stats for Stories: Older Americans Month, May 2018.

Administration on Community Living, 2017 Profile of Older Americans. (Previous profiles are available on the Administration on Community Living website.)

Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics, Older Americans 2016: Key Indicators of Well Being.

Resources for Older Americans

A vast number of resources exist to directly help and inform older Americans and their caregivers. Some of these are

Eldercare Locator

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

National Center on Elder Abuse

National Council on Aging, Benefits CheckUp

National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center

Senior Resource

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, HealthyPeople.gov

State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs)

In addition to the resources above as well as below, many additional community-based programs can be found using local resources, such as a public library or a recreation department.

Educational Opportunities for Seniors

Numerous programs are available to seniors to provide educational and fun experiences. Two broader well-established resources are

Making Education Accessible to Seniors

Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel)

Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors

Active seniors may enjoy sharing their knowledge and skills by volunteering to help others. The following selection provides diverse volunteer opportunities, including some for living and volunteering abroad:

Go EcoSenior Volunteering

Additional community-based programs can be found using local resources, such as a public library or a recreation department.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Technical Information Specialist ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])