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‘Older Americans: Making Choices for a Healthier Future’

July 1, 1993

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11793336691458.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of http://biden.senate.gov‘, ‘The theme for Older Americans Month, May 2007, is “Older Americans: Making Choices for a Healthier Future.” This theme encourages us to think differently about health and long-term care.‘);

Never has it been more evident that one of the biggest challenges facing the United States is how we will care for our grandparents, parents and loved ones as they age. Views may vary on how to prepare for what will be a diverse wave of seniors, whose ranks are growing as a result of the aging of 78 million baby boomers who will begin to turn 65 in 2011. But all agree this shift in our nation’s demographics will have profound implications for our economic and social landscapes at the national, state and community level.

Federal, state and community leaders are witnessing sweeping fundamental transformations in the way we think about and deliver health and long-term care in this country. More and more, we hear the overwhelming preference of the American people is to remain at home for as long as possible and to have choice and control over how and where they live as they age. The nation’s national aging services network, led by the U.S. Administration on Aging and composed of state, tribal and area agencies on aging, as well as more than 29,000 community service providers, caregivers and volunteers, know this and have worked hard to carry out their mission under the Older Americans Act to provide for and protect the independence and dignity of our older citizens.

For 44 years, our nation has paused to honor older Americans during May. During this special month, the ongoing contributions of our older citizens are highlighted with a national proclamation by the President of the United States, and activities and events planned in communities across America.

The theme for Older Americans Month, May 2007, is “Older Americans: Making Choices for a Healthier Future.” This theme encourages us to think differently about health and long-term care, and work together to rebalance and modernize our current systems so we may adequately plan for and address the needs of current and future generations. Older people are entitled to live lives of dignity and independence through:

Streamlined access to information as well as to home and community services, including information that will enable people to plan ahead for long-term care;

Information about cost-effective prevention practices and activities that will improve health and quality of life and reduce risk of disease, disability and injury, and;

Innovative, affordable and flexible options of care and support that will provide an array of choices about how and where to live.

Lifescape Community Services urges people of all ages to seize upon the occasion of Older Americans Month to plan, promote and participate in activities during May and throughout the year that reflect the tenets of the national theme. We must all work together to ensure that every older person in this country is treated with dignity and respect; moreover, has the opportunity to make the choices they desire to enjoy a healthy and rewarding future.

from the May 16-22, 2007, issue

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