Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow – Older Americans Month – May 2014

Did you know that Older Americans Month is in May? Every year since 1963, US presidents have proclaimed that during the month of May we should acknowledge the contributions of those over 65. The theme this year focuses on keeping seniors safe from injury, accidents, violence and abuse.

On April 30, 2014, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, For Immediate Release issued a Presidential Proclamation that Older Americans Month is in May. Here are a few things that are stated in the Proclamation:

  • Older Americans have fortified our country and shaped our world.
  • They have made groundbreaking discoveries, pioneered new industries, led our Nation’s businesses, and advanced our unending journey toward a more perfect Union.
  • They have raised strong families and strengthened communities.
  • And with unwavering courage and patriotism, many rose in defense of the land we love.
  • This month, we celebrate the remarkable contributions and sacrifices of our elders, and we offer our renewed gratitude and support.
  • As vital members of our communities, seniors deserve the resources and information to stay healthy and safe.
  • This year’s Older Americans Month theme, “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow,” raises awareness about injury prevention.
  • To take control of their safety, seniors can talk to their health care provider about the best physical activities for them, make sure their homes have ample lighting, and install handrails wherever they are helpful — particularly near stairs and in bathrooms.
  • During Older Americans Month, we pay tribute to our parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, and every senior near to our hearts.
  • We strive to build a bright future on the strong foundation they have laid.

What other things can be done to help ensure the safety and well-being of Older Americans? Older Americans should have at least the following estate planning documents, in case of illness or incapacity: Financial Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare Directive with Living Will. Other documents such as wills and trusts can be prepared to handle the distribution of property and assets according to you wishes.

Older Americans should check on beneficiary designations at least once a year or more often depending on what changes have occurred in their lives. Some examples of what could make a difference in who an Older American wants to name as a beneficiary of a bank account, life insurance policy, retirement account or other asset include: Marriage, divorce, birth, death or transfer of assets. These are just a few items that may require a change to beneficiary designations.

Let’s celebrate and thank Older Americans for their contributions and keep in sync with this year’s theme – “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow.”

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