The McLean County Senior Services program will be hosting a number of different events in the month of May in honor of Older Americans Month 2023.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Older Americans Month has been observed each May starting in 1963, when only 17 million Americans reached their 65th birthday while one-third of the population lived in poverty and had few programs available to meet their needs.

The month has been known as “a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, in particular those who defended our country” and is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs and other activities.

This year’s theme — “Aging Unbound” — provides an opportunity for people to explore diverse aging experiences and discuss how communities can combat stereotypes, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living.

Events in the county will include “Walk with Seniors” at 9 a.m. May 16 at the Livermore Track. Sandra Martin, director of the senior services program, said the event is open for anyone that would like to participate.

A carnival is also planned to be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 23 at Livermore City Hall.

Previous events that took place this past week included “Honk for Seniors” on Tuesday at River Traditions Custom Cabinetry & Furniture on Kentucky Highway 431 in Island, where signs were created to encourage drivers to honk their vehicle horns in honor of the observance.

Martin said McLean’s observance will also take place in other parts of the Commonwealth.

“(What) we will do (through) the month is travel to each county in the (Green River District Health Department) area,” she said, “and we will be participating at each center.”

Some events include “Taco Tuesday,” which took place in Union County on Tuesday, “Music Bingo” with live entertainment by Kelley Turley on May 16 in Hancock County and “Grill and Chill” on May 31 in Webster County.

McLean County seniors will also have the opportunity to participate in a field trip to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. on May 24.

“It’s our first big trip,” Martin said.

Martin said the senior program will also honor World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 at the McLean County Courthouse in Calhoun, where seniors have been asked to crochet square blocks, which will be connected together and wrapped around a pole.

Additionally, quilted purple flags will be put on at each city hall in the county.

For more information and updates about McLean’s efforts during Older Americans Month, call McLean County Senior Services at 270-499-8989.

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