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WHEREAS, there are nearly 1.9 million adults in the Commonwealth who are over 60 years old, and this population will increase to 2.3 million by 2030; and
WHEREAS, older Virginians are critical, contributing members of their families, communities, and the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionally affected older adults and individuals in long-term care facilities; and
WHEREAS, aging stakeholder groups have risen to meet the needs of Virginia’s older adults, providing nearly 3.5 million meals and making over 169,000 wellness calls to reduce social isolation; and
WHEREAS, for over 55 years, Older Americans Month, led by the U.S. Administration for Community Living’s Administration on Aging, has been observed every May; and
WHEREAS, this year’s theme is “Communities of Strength,” which celebrates the strength of older adults and the aging network, with special emphasis on the power of connection and engagement in building strong communities; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth Council on Aging has presented the 2021 Best Practices Awards to a wide range of organizations and programs, all of which reflect the strengths of Virginia’s senior citizens and the challenges they face; and
WHEREAS, the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and the Virginia Association of Area Agencies plan to host a multi-day virtual Governor’s Conference on Aging during the week of May 24, in hopes of bringing people together to address critical issues facing older adults and their caregivers;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 2021 as OLDER VIRGINIANS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.