Older adults are a growing and increasingly 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. And at H.O.M.E., older adults give us our purpose, our inspiration and our joy.
In 1963, the U.S. began to acknowledge the contributions of older people by using the month of May to celebrate Older Americans Month (OAM). Led by the Administration for Community Living, 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.
Say the word “trailblazer” and members of the H.O.M.E. family immediately think of our founders, Michel and Lilo Salmon. They reinvented senior housing in Chicago through their passion for intergenerational living and their vision of what eventually become our Good Life Senior Residences.
The Salmons were able to identify the services that would allow low-income seniors throughout Chicago to age in community and they established intergenerational housing, a shopping bus, a moving program, and a home repair program to provide essential housing supports. Today, all of us at H.O.M.E. strive to continue to “blaze a trail” in services for low-income seniors in Chicago.
We hope you will join us in using OAM 2016 to focus on how older adults in our communities are leading and inspiring others, how we can support and learn from them, and how we might follow their examples to blaze trails of our own. Tell us about an Older American in your life and we'll share their story on social media.
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