HARRISBURG – Gov. Edward G. Rendell has proclaimed May as “Older Pennsylvanians Month” to honor and celebrate the state’s 2.5 million citizens over age 60.
“Older adults make tremendous contributions that enrich our communities and our entire commonwealth,” Governor Rendell said. “During Older Pennsylvanians Month, it’s important for each of us to recognize the many ways in which older adults make Pennsylvania a better place to live.”
The Department of Aging has made significant progress to enhance the availability of home and community-based services, providing greater choice in where and how older adults receive support services that can help them to live independently.
The department offers numerous programs that help older citizens live healthy and engaged lives. More than 600 senior centers across the state provide nutritious lunches, exercise programs and learning activities; and 260 adult day care centers provide expert care, freeing family members to go to work rather than stay at home to care for their loved ones.
“All people want choices in the services they use and older adults are no different,” said Department of Aging Secretary John Michael Hall. “Some senior centers in Pennsylvania look the same as they did 20 or 30 years ago. This is why we recently awarded $3.7 million for senior nutrition programs that will allow selected senior centers to upgrade their facilities.”
The Rendell administration remains committed to providing services to older residents. Since 1972, the Pennsylvania Lottery has contributed nearly $19.2 billion to support services for older adults, and is the only state lottery in the nation to exclusively target all of its proceeds to programs for older residents.
For more information about the Department of Aging, visit www.aging.state.pa.us.
Editor’s Note: The text of the Governor’s Proclamation follows.
OLDER PENNSYLVANIANS MONTH — May 2010
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania’s older adult population, comprised of approximately 2.5 million persons over the age of 60, is projected to increase to more than 3.2 million by the year 2020; and
WHEREAS, older Pennsylvanians greatly enhance the well-being of our Commonwealth’s communities through working, volunteering and civic engagement; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania embraces the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Older Americans Month theme for 2010 “Age Strong! Live Long!” and recognizes independent living is an important choice for greater numbers of older adults; and
WHEREAS, our Commonwealth recently established the Office of Long-Term Living to lead balancing efforts in the state’s long-term living system; and
WHEREAS, our Commonwealth has awarded $3.7 million in competitive grants to senior centers to help revolutionize nutrition services; thus investing in the quality of life, health and happiness of older Pennsylvanians; and
WHEREAS, our Commonwealth supports efforts to help older adults utilize home and community based services and innovations aimed at ‘rebalancing’ long-term living; allowing more people to ‘age in place’ at home rather than nursing facilities, thus respecting living preferences and ensuring the highest quality of life; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging promotes the health and independence of older adults by providing PACE/PACENET prescription assistance benefits to nearly 1.3 million older Pennsylvanians as of this date; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging and Area Agencies on Aging are placing new emphasis on Adult Day Care, giving caregivers added support; providing vital services such as transportation, APPRISE/Medicare counseling ; social activities at more than 600 senior community centers; protective services for older people at risk of abuse or neglect; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania residents support the provision of services to older adults through the Pennsylvania Lottery, which has contributed more than $19.2 billion to such services since 1972.
THEREFORE, I, Edward G. Rendell, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim May 2010 OLDER PENNSYLVANIANS MONTH. I encourage all citizens to celebrate the significant contributions of older Pennsylvanians and help older adults live healthier lives so they may “Age Strong! Live Long!”
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, on this twenty-seventh day of April in the year of our Lord two thousand and ten, and of the Commonwealth the two hundred and thirty-fourth
EDWARD G. RENDELL, Governor