May is a month when we celebrate older Americans who spring into action to work for positive social change, help their fellow seniors, and take ownership of their own health and well-being.
Since 1963, communities across America have shown their gratitude to seniors' contributions by celebrating Older Americans Month each May. The theme of this year's celebration is "Get into the Act" to focus on how older adults are taking charge of their health, engaging with their communities, and making a positive impact on the lives of others. The theme also reflects on the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act, which Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law in 1965. Since that time, the Act has provided funding and a nationwide aging services network to help older adults live with dignity in the communities of their choice for as long as possible. These services include caregiver support, community-based assistance, and preventive health and wellness services. The creation of the Foster Grandparent Program and RSVP were part of this larger effort.
May is also Osteoporosis Awareness Month. 54 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone mass, putting them at risk for breaks and fractures. Bone Builders classes, offered free through Friends RSVP, feature low-impact exercises that yield high-impact results. These senior strength sessions improve bone and muscle strength, balance, circulation, and general health. Classes are held twice a week, year-round at local senior centers, senior housing buildings, and other locales. Friends RSVP-trained volunteers lead classes at 22 locations in Merrimack, Rockingham and Belknap counties. Over 2,000 classes are taught annually. To get involved, call the Friends Program at 228-1193.