Older Americans Month logo. Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.May is Older Americans Month

The 2014 Older Americans Month theme is Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow. Visit the 2014 theme section for materials and ideas to help your organization celebrate Older Americans Month.

History of Older Americans Month

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. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing, however. In April of 1963, President John F. Kennedy's meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens served as a prelude to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month.”

Thanks to President Jimmy Carter’s 1980 designation, what was once called Senior Citizens Month, is now called “Older Americans Month,“ and has become a tradition.

Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country. Every President since JFK 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.

Past Older Americans Month Themes

  • 2013—Unleash the Power of Age
  • 2012—Never Too Old to Play
  • 2011—Older Americans: Connecting the Community
  • 2010—Age Strong! Live Long!
  • 2009—Living Today for a Better Tomorrow
  • 2008—Working Together for Strong, Healthy and Supportive Communities
  • 2007—Making Choices for a Healthier Future
  • 2006—Choices For Independence
  • 2005—Celebrate Long-term Living
  • 2004—Aging Well, Living Well
  • 2003—What We Do Makes A Difference.
  • 2002—America: “A Community for all Ages”
  • 2001—The Many Faces of Aging
  • 2000—In the New Century … The Future is Aging
  • 1999—Honor the Past, Imagine the Future: Towards a Society for All Ages
  • 1998—Living Longer, Growing Stronger in America
  • 1997—Caregiving: Compassion in Action
  • 1996—Aging: A Lifetime Opportunity
  • 1995—Aging: Generations of Experience
  • 1994—Aging: An Experience of a Lifetime
  • 1993—No theme selected (proclamation signed on May 25, 1993)
  • 1992—Community Action Begins with You: Help Older Americans Help Themselves
  • 1986—Plan on Living the Rest of Your Life
  • 1985—Help Yourself to Independence
  • 1984—Health: Make it Last a Lifetime
  • 1978—Older Americans and the Family


Last Modified: 3/27/2014