Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

BOARD HONORS CONTRIBUTIONS OF OUR OLDER RESIDENTS

The Morris County Freeholders have proclaimed May, 2016, as Older Americans Month in Morris County, recognizing our senior citizens for their long-standing contributions to our county, state and nation.

Older Americans Month 5.11.16

(l/r) Freeholders John Cesaro, Doug Cabana, Deborah Smith, Kathy DeFillippo, Division on Aging Director Ophelia Cruse, Human Services Director Jenn Carpinteri, and Freeholder Christine Myers

“We recognize that older adults are trailblazers—advocating for themselves, their peers, and their communities—paving the way for future generations,’’ said Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo.

“The Freeholder Board urges every resident of Morris County to take time this month to get to know and acknowledge older adults and the people who serve them as powerful and vital individuals who greatly contribute to our community.’’

The proclamation was issued at the May 11 Freeholder Board meeting in Morristown to Ophelia Cruse, Division Director of the Morris County Office on Aging, Disabilities and Community Programming; and Morris County Human Services Director Jenn Carpinteri.

When Older Americans Month was established nationally in 1963, only 17 million Americans at that time had reached age 65, said Cruse. Almost one-third of those older Americans lived in poverty and had few available government programs to help meet their needs.

Older Americans

Today, she said, there are nearly 40 million seniors living in the U.S. That represents about one in every eight Americans. While senior poverty hasn’t been eliminated, today’s seniors have a wide array of programs and resources to help them live safe and independent.

In Morris County, more than 68,000 residents, or 14 percent of our population, has reached age 65 – and more folks are reaching that milestone every day. Historically, May, as Older Americans Month, has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country in war and in peacetime.

“Since the 1960s, every President has issued a formal proclamation asking that the entire nation pay tribute, in some way, to older persons in their communities,’’ said Cruse. “This year’s theme, ‘Blaze a Trail,’ emphasizes the ways older adults are reinventing themselves through new work and new passions, engaging their communities, and blazing a trail of positive impact on the lives of people of all ages.

The freeholders urged all county residents to help enrich the lives of individuals of all ages by:

  • Promoting and engaging in activity, wellness, and social involvement.
  • Emphasizing home and community based services that support independent living.
  • Ensuring community members can benefit from the contributions and experience of older adults.

For more information on aging services in Morris County, visit: http://hs.morriscountynj.gov/aging/