According to the Ohio Department of Aging, Ohio has 2.5 million residents over the age of 60, and our 60-plus population is growing more than 20 times faster than our overall population. These trends present both opportunities and challenges for Ohio and its communities to unleash the power possessed by our elders by providing supports and meaningful ways for our Golden Buckeyes to continue to grow, thrive and contribute.
Adults over 60 are a vital part of our country. The contributions they make to our communities are varied, deeply rooted, and include influential roles in the nation’s economy, politics, and the arts. From 69-year-old NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr. to 84-year-old actress Rita Moreno to 83-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who took her seat as a Supreme Court Justice at age 60, older adults are blazing trails in all aspects of American life.
In 1963, the United States began to acknowledge the contributions of older people by using the month of May to celebrate Older Americans Month (OAM). The annual observance offers the opportunity to learn about, support, and celebrate our nation’s older citizens. This year’s theme, “Blaze a Trail,” emphasizes the ways older adults are reinventing themselves through new work and new passions, engaging their communities, and blazing a trail of positive impact on the lives of people of all ages.
With more Ohioans living ‘well beyond’ 60, it is important to work together at all levels to help each other ‘live well’ beyond 60. This is not a goal that can be achieved by one or even a few groups working together. The activities and support that Jennings offers, in addition to partnering with others in the community at large, are part of helping those we serve to continue to “live well.”
Follow Jennings in social media for Older Americans Month (#OAM16) as we celebrate the stories of adults who are reinventing themselves and our communities (#BlazeATrail) and how growing older and living well is everybody’s business (#WellBeyond60). Share your stories too!