Older Americans Month: 52 Million Reasons to Celebrate

OAM 2022 Masthead #1

When Older Americans Month was inaugurated in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. The number today is more than 52 million.

Here’s to each and every one of them.

The Kansas City Public Library joins the nation in observing Older Americans Month in May. This year’s focus – with the theme Age My Way – is on aging in place, on helping older adults stay in their homes and live independently in their communities for as long as possible.

“Older adults play vital, positive roles in our communities as family members, friends, mentors, volunteers, civic leaders, members of the workforce, and more,” says the federal Administration for Community Living, tasked by the Department of Health and Human Services with carrying out the provisions of the Older Americans Act of 1965. “Just as every person is unique, so too is how they age and how they choose to do it – and there is no ‘right’ way.”

Thus … Age My Way.

Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of older persons past and present – particularly those who defended our country. Every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation asking that the nation pay tribute in some way.

Older Americans Month is celebrated nationwide through ceremonies, events, fairs, and other activities.

The Library’s senior services program offers an array of resources and activities, including a guiding Senior Resources and Services sheet. Also:

  • The KC Library by Mail program is available to anyone in the Kansas City Public Library service area who is physically unable to visit a neighborhood Library location. In-home patrons can request books, DVDs, music CDs, and audiobooks, or Library staffers will select materials matched to their individual interests. Items are delivered by mail, free of charge.
  • Lobby Stops bring the Library to senior housing sites across the community each month, setting up small, pop-up libraries in common areas or lobbies. Patrons can register for a Library card if they don’t already have one and are invited to browse and check out regular- and large-print books, DVDs, and audiobooks, then return them during the next visit.
  • Call the Senior Listen Line to hear recordings of stories and helpful tips on health, the arts, entertainment, and other topics relating to senior services. Contents are updated monthly.
  • Join one of our Let's Talk: Senior Conversations the third Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. Topics of the one-hour group discussions range from current events, new projects, and goals to music and dancing, favorite activities, or simply what's on your mind. Next session is May 17.
  • The Silver and Gold Readers Book Group meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 2 p.m. Share your takeaways from carefully chosen inspirational, informational, and fiction titles.

Senior Services Coordinator Tiffany Alexander, in the Library's Mobile Services department, oversees Library by Mail and Lobby Stops. Senior Services Manager Mary Roberson, a member of the Library's Community Reference team, supervises the Senior Listen Line, Senior Conversations, and book group. We celebrate them as well.

To reach Senior Services at the Library, call 816.701.3490 or email seniorservices@kclibrary.org.