Older Americans Month 2017: Age Out Loud

posted May 1, 2017, 11:32 AM by Mary Peck

Since 1963, Older Americans Month (OAM) is a time to celebrate older Americans, their stories, and their contributions. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the annual observance offers a special opportunity to learn about, support and recognize our nation’s older citizens. This year’s theme, “Age Out Loud,” emphasizes the ways older adults are living their lives with boldness, confidence and passion while serving as an inspiration to people of all ages.

The South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) Area Aging Services will use OAM 2017 to focus on how older adults in our community are redefining aging—through work or family interests, by taking charge of their health and staying independent for as long as possible, and through their community and advocacy efforts. We can also use this opportunity to learn how we can best support and learn from our community’s older members.

SWODA Area Aging Services provides information about AAA services and other community programs concerning the elderly through the Information and Assistance (I & A) service. The I & A service is designed to help those 60 and older who need information about a program or service, or who simply have problems and do not know where to turn for help. Ada Vanderford, SWODA, welcomes calls from the elderly and their caregivers. Contact Ada at (580) 562-4882.

Some of the services that information and/or assistance can be provided for include the following: respite services for caregivers, hearing aids, transportation, housing, legal services, long-term care, Medicare, nutrition, health care, housekeeping, weatherization and other concerns of the elderly.

Getting older doesn’t mean what it used to. For many aging Americans, it is a phase of life where interests, goals, and dreams can get a new or second start. Today, aging is about eliminating outdated perceptions and living the way that suits you best.

Take Barbara Hillary, for example. A nurse for 55 years who dreamed of travel, at age 75 Hillary became the first African American woman to set foot on the North Pole. In 2011, at age 79, she set another first when she stepped onto the South Pole. Former president George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday by skydiving. Actress Betty White, now 95 years old, became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live in 2010, coincidentally during May—the same month recognized as Older Americans Month (OAM).

These services are funded in part by state and Older Americans Act Funds from

SWODA AAA and DHS Aging Services.

It is policy of SWODA AAA to serve all individuals who are eligible for its programs

without regard to race, national origin, ancestry, color, religion, gender, age or disability.

SWODA is one of 11 Councils of Government in the state. SWODA’s region of service includes municipalities, counties and conservation districts in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties