May is recognized as Older Americans month and celebrates the senior citizens of our country who are well known for their hard work and dedication to their family and community. This year’s 60th anniversary celebration of Older Americans Month is focusing on the theme of “Aging Unbound”. This theme is meant to highlight the diverse experiences of seniors and promote flexible thinking about how we all age in different ways. We hope that the barriers that society puts on one’s abilities due to age, or other factors, are able to be broken and you can continue to find adventure as you age. In addition to diversity of experience, we hope to encourage the active participation and engagement of seniors in their community.
This year, the federal government has made some policy changes designed to better support seniors in honor of this special month. The Inflation Reduction Act includes a cap on the cost of insulin at $35/month for those on Medicare and also caps out of pocket prescription drug costs at $2,000/year. Another healthcare related change is that hearing aids (with hearing loss being noted as a significant risk factor for dementia) can now be purchased over the counter without a prescription, which is estimated to save seniors up to $3,000 per pair. The third and final important measure taken to support our nation’s seniors is the extension of Medicare Trust Fund by at least 25 years (The United States government, 2023).
Normandale Center has a variety of support groups, education classes and volunteer opportunities. Maybe you have considered one of these but have not given it a try yet. This month, as we edge into spring, and in the spirit of Aging Unbound, it is a great time to expand your interests, gain support and give back to your community.
++ Written by Bryan Thomsen ++
The United States Government. (2023, April 28). A proclamation on older Americans month, 2023. The White House. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2023/04/28/a-proclamation-on-older-americans-month-2023/