The national observance of Healthy Aging Month in September began in 1992, seeking to “’draw attention to the positive sides of growing older…September was chosen because so many people feel they can ‘get started’ more easily then.’” So stated Carolyn Worthington, publisher of the Healthy Aging® mutli-media platform and president of the nonprofit Educational Television Network, Inc., who created the observance three decades ago. In 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the resolution naming September as National Healthy Aging Month. The overriding message is to encourage people to “take personal responsibility for their health” to continue a healthy lifestyle and stay independent into older ages, a trend that has gained traction among older adults in recent years. Many steps can be taken to stay healthy, including keeping your mind and body active, choosing healthy foods, sharing health concerns with your doctor, taking steps to prevent falls, and staying safe while driving. The aging of the population has had a significant impact on vision, with an increased number of people affected by eye diseases and conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataract. However, getting older does not have to mean losing vision. “That’s why it’s important to spread the word about ways to prevent vision loss in older adults and support healthy aging,” according to the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). During Healthy Aging Month, NEI invites participation in its National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) to increase awareness about eye health and aging by letting members of your community know about how to protect their vision as they get older. NEI offers articles and handout materials to spread the word about preventing vision loss. For more background information about Healthy Aging Month, read the Healthy Aging® article entitled “September is Healthy Aging Month Celebrates 30 Years” and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s webpage on September National Health Observances. Additional details and resources about eye health and older adults are available on the NEI webpage on Healthy Aging Month.
Healthy Aging and Your Eyes Webinar: September 13, 2022
Find out about eye conditions related to aging and learn what actions you can take during a zoom event hosted by MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Healthy Aging and Your Eyes” will take place on September 13, 2022 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm ET. Learn more about this “Low Vision Resource and Support Group” program from the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington webpage, including how to log onto the zoom link, by clicking on Healthy Aging and Your Eyes. To register, call (301) 951-4444.