HARRISBURG, Pa., May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Aging Brian Duke urges all Pennsylvanians to join in the national celebration of Older Americans Month.
This year's theme, "Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow," focuses on injury prevention and safety to encourage older adults to learn how to protect themselves and remain healthy and independent for as long as possible.
"For 35 years, the department has been proudly serving older Pennsylvanians," Secretary Duke said. "A lot has changed throughout the years, but our commitment to protecting older adults and teaching them how to prevent injuries remains, in order for them to stay healthy and live in their homes as long as they want."
The department, in partnership with Area Agencies on Aging, offers a number of safety and wellness programs at the local level that include:
- PrimeTime Health program – the department's health promotion and disease prevention program that consists of a falls prevention program, called Healthy Steps and Healthy Steps in Motion; medication and/or chronic condition management; health screenings; and exercise programs.
- Nutrition program - provides nutrition services to older Pennsylvanians through congregate and home-delivered meals, food stamp benefits, and farmers' market food voucher program. Last year, over 8.3 million meals were provided to older Pennsylvanians at senior centers and through home- delivered meals.
- Protective Services program - increases awareness and investigates reports of neglect, abuse and abandonment. The department works closely with the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, who implement the protective services program at the local level.
- PACE/PACENET (Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly) programs are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to income eligible residents, age 65 and older.
- Home and community based services cover a wide range of needs that allow older adults to remain in their communities and homes. Services include home-delivered meals; home health care; personal care; assistance with bathing, dressing, eating, grooming and housekeeping; shopping assistance; caregiver relief; and transportation, all of which help to keep them safe and allow them to remain in the home.
Older Americans Month has been celebrated since 1963 in communities across Pennsylvania and the country to show special appreciation for older adults.
The Department of Aging encourages all residents to pay tribute to older Pennsylvanians during May.
For more information on Older Americans Month and programs the department offers to remain safe and healthy, visit www.aging.state.pa.us
Editor's note: The text of the governor's proclamation for Older Pennsylvanians Month follows:
OLDER PENNSYLVANIANS MONTH
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania takes pride in the well-being of its 2.7 million citizens aged 60 and over; and
WHEREAS, Older Pennsylvanians Month has been celebrated for more than 50 years with a focus on recognizing the innumerable contributions of senior citizens; and
WHEREAS, this year's theme, "Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow," focuses our attention to sustaining the healthy active status of our older adult population in light of the fact that older adults can be at much higher risk of unintentional injury from falls, frailty and even death than other segments of the population; and
WHEREAS, accidental injuries of older persons have resulted annually in nearly 50,000 hospitalizations, 100,000 emergency room visits and more than 1,000 deaths; and
WHEREAS, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging in conjunction with the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, provides programs and services to over 1 million older adults each year; and
WHEREAS, in honor of this year's theme, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and the 52 Area Agencies on Aging brings attention to the PrimeTime Health program and other programs offered at senior community centers such as nutrition, exercise, personal safety and balance that aid in independence of judgment and peace of mind for seniors; and
WHEREAS, within our Commonwealth, the importance of safety and care rendered to older adults supports a healthier tomorrow for our older Pennsylvanians so they can continue to share their interests and contribute to the livelihood of our state.
THEREFORE, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim May 2014 as OLDER PENNSYLVANIANS MONTH. I encourage all citizens to recognize the importance of initiatives and programs that contribute to the safety and well-being of our older adult community.
TOM CORBETT, GOVERNOR
Media contact: Christina Reese, 717-783-1550
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Aging