May is Older Americans Month (OAM) and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads our nation’s celebration. ACL designed the 2017 OAM theme, Age Out Loud. This theme shines a light on many important trends as older Americans are working longer, trying new things, and engaging in their communities.

Older Americans are taking charge, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for themselves and others. They expect to continue to live their lives to the fullest, and they’re insisting on changes that make that possible. What it means to age has changed, and OAM is a perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate what getting older looks like today.

Older adults are getting into the act for their own health and to help others in their communities. Many people are redefining aging by trying new careers, classes, and hobbies. Engaging with the community is a great way for older adults to improve their own well-being while continuing to serve others.

Spending time on your own is okay now and again, but there are health benefits to remaining connected to others. Socializing can help stimulate the mind and ward off conditions such as depression. Consider joining a book club or a gardening club. Whatever it is you want to do, being with like-minded people can make you happier and more focused.

About 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, and staying active, both physically and cognitively, is one of the best ways to prevent decline. Let’s amplify the many voices of older Americans and raise awareness of vital aging issues across the country. Speak up and Age out Loud for OAM! Here are some helpful links.