‘Older Americans Month’ celebrated in Indiana

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana, Inc. (AIHS) says they have joined Gov. Eric Holcomb in recognizing the month of May as Older Americans Month in Indiana. The 2018 theme, “Engage at Every Age,” emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental and emotional well-being. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities. When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty, and there were few programs to meet their needs.

According to the latest U.S. Census data:

· About one in every seven (15.2%) of the population is an older American.

· Over the past 10 years, the population age 65 and over increased from 37.2 million in 2006 to 49.2 million in 2016 (a 33% increase) and is projected to almost double to 98 million in 2060.

· The age 85-plus population is projected to more than double from 6.4 million in 2016 to 14.6 million in 2040 (a 129% increase).

· There are 27.5 million older women, compared to 21.8 million older men.

· Almost half of older women (45%) age 75 and over lived alone.

In Fort Wayne and Allen County, 12% of the population is age 65 and older. However, approximately 33% of the population is age 50 and older, meaning 1 in 3 adults is preparing to, or actively engaged in, aging-in-place in our community. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those who practice healthy behaviors, take advantage of clinical preventative services, and continue to engage with family and friends are more likely to remain healthy and live independently – and reduce health-related costs.

Connie Benton Wolfe, AIHS President & CEO, said, “Our mission at AIHS has remained the same throughout our history: We are the major resource, and we will be a catalyst for innovation for older adults, persons with disabilities and their caregivers, to achieve optimal quality of life – safe and independent in their own home.”

For ideas on how to celebrate, volunteer or host an educational event, click HERE

For information and resources for aging-in-place, contact AIHS’ Aging & Disability Resource Center, a member of the INconnect Alliance, at 260-469-3036.