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Blazing a Trail in Retirement: Older Americans Month 2016

With Memorial Day just around the corner and on everyone’s minds, did you know May is also nationally recognized as “Older Americans Month”? This designation began in 1963 when the National Council of Senior Citizens and President John F. Kennedy declared the month of May “Senior Citizens Month,” which became the “Older Americans Month” we know today.

Since JFK, each U.S. president has made an annual, formal proclamation that older Americans be recognized during the month of May for their numerous contributions to their communities and the nation as a whole. Here at the Village at Germantown, we wanted to contribute with this blog post honoring our residents and showing our support for this month of gratitude.

Honoring Older Americans for their Service

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You may have already guessed this, but it’s certainly no accident that Older Americans month coincides with Memorial Day! On and around Memorial Day, we remember and honor all of those who serve our country, those who have gone before us and those who are still a part of our daily lives.

Many of those veterans honored are our parents, grandparents, mentors and friends who taught us to be the citizens we are today. Veterans led us by example in serving their country, as did those older Americans who have held public offices and government jobs, participate with civic organizations, sit on juries, exercise their right to vote and perform community service.

In fact, according to a 2014 report from the Corporation for National and Community Service, 1 in every 4 older Americans participates in volunteer work! A similar 2013 report showed that an amazing 89% of older people in the U.S. identify as “informal volunteers,” by performing favors here and there for friends and neighbors. Popular service activities found in these reports include food and clothing drives, fundraising, and volunteering at church. These statistics don’t surprise us, as many of our Villagers are actively involved in service projects. Yet, they’re certainly something to be recognized and celebrated!

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Today, we treasure and learn from the stories older adults tell us of their civic involvement over a cup of tea or a game of cards. We also challenge ourselves to follow in their footsteps with these same activities, to continue to uphold the giving communities and nation of democracy that generations before us worked to preserve.

“Through a lifetime of contribution, older Americans have helped ensure that the founding promise of our country remains within reach for their children and grandchildren, and their individual narratives reflect the extraordinary history of our Nation.” - President Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation, Older Americans Month 2016

Trail Blazers in our Germantown Retirement Community

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Each year, Older Americans month is also given a theme on which events, activities and articles are focused. Themes have encompassed everything from health and safety to independence and community. This year’s theme is “Blaze a Trail,” which we believe couldn’t be more fitting for our community here at the Village!

We’re committed to offering a fun, social environment with an array of worthwhile activities, and the Villagers themselves take it to the next level with their genuine enthusiasm and unique ideas.

Just recently they formed the “Seniors in Stitches” group, and these ladies have been putting their creative skills to work making pretty postcards embellished with thread and fabric. Earlier this year, some of our residents helped us to create a special Veteran’s Memorial for our campus and our staff and residents partnered to hold a water drive for Flint, MI.

Inspired by the growing number of residents blazing a trail with their active retirement lifestyles, the Village at Germantown is currently constructing 32 new Independent Living apartments for our community. Very soon we will be opening our new state-of-the-art Rehabilitation Center, and just last year we enhanced our Adult Day Care, Memory Care and Assisted Living Services with the opening of our new Enrichment Center.

Happy Memorial Day from The Village at Germantown!

This Memorial Day, let’s all take the time to say thanks to both the veterans in our lives and those older Americans who have served our country and their communities in any number of ways. Together with our older loved ones, we can blaze a trail of civic duty for generations to come. Now we wish our residents and their families a safe and happy holiday weekend!


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