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AMERICUS, GEORGIA (May 4, 2016) — Each year, the month of May is designated by the President of the United States as Older Americans Month.  The theme, as issued by the Administration for Community Living and U.S. Administration on Aging, for this year’s celebration—“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.

Older adults are a growing and increasingly vital part of our country. Providing support and assistance to them is a key objective of OAM logothe Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI). The RCI works to build more effective long-term care systems and provide greater recognition and support to both family and professional caregivers.  These family and professional caregivers, many of which are older Americans, are coping with chronic illnesses and disabilities across the lifespan as well as limitations due to aging. 

“Older Americans are a tremendously rich source of information and wisdom,” said Leisa Easom, Ph.D., executive director of the RCI. “These older adults have certainly blazed a trail for all of us today and have earned our thanks and respect.”

The contributions older Americans make to our communities are varied, deeply rooted, and include influential roles in the nation’s economy, politics, and the arts. “One of the best measures of a country is how it treats its older citizens,” said President Barack Obama in his presidential proclamation for Older Americans Month. “Let us honor their enduring contributions to our society by safeguarding their rights and the opportunities they deserve.”

The annual observance of Older Americans Month in May, which began in 1963, offers the opportunity to learn about, support, and celebrate our nation’s older citizens. Older Americans Month provides each of us additional opportunities to show support and appreciation to senior citizens, age 65 and older, who continue to enrich and strengthen our communities.

About the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving
Located in Americus, Ga., the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving is a division of Georgia Southwestern State University. The RCI was established in 1987 in honor of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, a GSW alumna who serves as president of the Institute's Board of Advisors. RCI establishes local, state, national, and international partnerships committed to building quality, long- term, home and community-based services. It advocates for evidence-based research to address the strain and burdens associated with family, volunteer, and professional caregiving. In 2013, with support from Johnson & Johnson, RCI established Operation Family Caregiver, which coaches the families of newly returning service members and veterans to manage the difficulties they face when they come home. For additional information about the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving and its programs, visit www.rosalynncarter.org or call (229) 928-1234.

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