The month of May is officially designated National Older Americans Month. Next month we will spend time with this annual opportunity to celebrate America’s seniors, and raise awareness about the many challenges older adults face every day.
Seniors have come a long way since National Older Americans Month was first established under President John F. Kennedy in 1963. At the time, about a third of senior adults lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Medicare had yet to be created, and only 17 million Americans, or 9 percent of the population, lived long enough to see their 65th birthday. Today, there are more than 49 million seniors. They constitute over 15 percent of all Americans.
In honor of the upcoming National Older Americans Month, let us share some interesting facts you may not know about our senior population. As always, our goal is to share with you the education and research you and the seniors you love need to plan forward.
1- More than 10,000 “baby boomers” turn 65-years-old every day.
2- Senior citizens are the fastest growing demographic group on Facebook. Recent studies show that more than half of all U.S. seniors are active online, and more than one-third are on Facebook and other social media websites.
3- Older adults aged 85 and up are the fastest growing age group in the country.
4- There are more than 55,000 seniors over age 100, and by 2050 the number of “centenarians” is expected to top 600,000. This is roughly the population of Vermont.
5- Seniors account for 40 percent of all drug prescriptions.
6- There are more than 11,400 senior centers across the country that together serve more than 1 million older adults every day. The average age of a senior center participant is 75.
7- More than 15 million older adults are formally recognized volunteers, but nearly half of all seniors volunteer in some capacity.
8- About 65 percent of all “baby boomers” say they plan to work past age 65.
9- Studies show that physical activity can slow the elder aging process.
10- A recent survey found that at least 70 percent of all seniors are still sexually active, and that they reported being just as satisfied, sometimes more satisfied, than when they were younger.
As you read these statistics, what holds true for you and your loved ones? What help do you need as you plan forward for your future that may include increased elder care needs? Do not wait to contact our office to schedule a meeting to address your questions now, or in the future.