Unleash your power during Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month in Alaska, a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of older Alaskans. This tradition is based on the Older Americans Month celebration that began with President Kennedy in 1963 to honor older Americans.

Alaska’s senior advisory commissions, senior centers and other senior community organizations will be hosting special activities during the month of May to honor the value that older Alaskans continue to contribute to their families and communities.

The theme for the 2013 Older Americans Month in Alaska is “Unleash the Power of Age,” to recognize older Alaskans as productive, active and influential members of our state and to call special attention to the growing number of Alaskan centenarians, people age 100 years or older.

For the first time, the Alaska Commission on Aging (ACoA), in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Services, is recognizing Alaskans who are 100 years or older as distinguished Alaskan centenarians.

We encourage all Alaskans and senior providers to take time to recognize older Alaskans in their communities, particularly Alaska’s centenarians, for their achievements and contributions to their families and communities.

We would also like to recognize Alaska’s centenarians in a special way during Older Americans Month celebrations. If you know an Alaskan centenarian, please encourage them to contact the Alaska Commission on Aging at (907) 465-3250) and include their name in the list of Alaskan centenarians.

The Anchorage and Fairbanks senior advisory commissions are planning special Older Americans Month celebrations as described below. All older Alaskans are most welcome to attend!

• “Older Americans Month Kickoff,” Thursday, May 2 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Anchorage Senior Activity Center. Hosted by the Anchorage Senior Citizens Advisory Commission with the Alaska Commission on Aging. For more information, call the Anchorage Aging and Disability Resource Center, (907) 343-7770.

• “Fairbanks Senior Recognition Day,” Thursday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Carlson Center. Hosted by the Fairbanks North Star Borough Senior Citizens Advisory Commission. For more information and to RSVP, call the Fairbanks North Star Borough Senior Parks and Recreation Office at (907) 459-1136.