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May 3rd, 2004 Contact: AoA Press Office
(202) 401-4634

May, 2004

Aging Well, Living Well Program Champions

Older Americans Month is celebrated each May to recognize older persons for the important roles they play in their families, communities, and workplaces. As older people are living longer, we continue to look for ways to assist them to remain healthy, independent, actively engaged, and productive at home and in the community.

The U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) within the Department of Health and Human Services, is pleased to introduce the Older Americans Month 2004 Aging Well, Living Well Program Champion initiative. Throughout the month of May, AoA will spotlight innovative programs on its Website at that are taking place in local communities around this country that assist older Americans in their pursuit to age and live well.

A different program will be highlighted every business day in May. Programs spotlighted focus on a variety of Aging Well, Living Well target areas, such as healthy aging, active engagement, and access to services. Several Program Champions chosen to spotlight are funded through the Older Americans Act and support key initiatives of AoA. Programs selected were determined from nominations submitted by Area Agencies on Aging around the country and AoA program experts.

When Older Americans Month was first proclaimed in 1963, only 17 million Americans lived to celebrate their 65th birthday. Today, over 35 million Americans have lived to celebrate their 65th birthday, and by the year 2030, the older population will double to 70 million.

“Today’s seniors are aging well and living longer due in large part to the many Champions that are pioneering innovative programs around the country to assist and engage older Americans,” said Josefina Carbonell, Assistant Secretary for Aging. “The “Aging Well, Living Well” Program Champions are only a representative sample of the wonderful work being done around the country to assist and engage older Americans,” she added.

AoA applauds this year’s Program Champions and hope that the programs chosen will receive recognition as model programs that can be replicated or possibly serve to encourage new ideas and approaches that reaffirm our commitment to helping our nation’s seniors live well as they age.