Proclamation 5468 -- Older Americans Month, 1986

April 23, 1986

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Have your health and have everything. That saying has special meaning for the elderly. Good health and fitness allow all of us, no matter what our age, the freedom and independence to choose how and where we live and to stay involved with our families and friends. Health and fitness enable us to take an active part in community life and to pursue our goals, whether they involve a career, hobbies, volunteer activities, travel, creative pursuits, or home life.

Good health is good common sense, but it is not enough to know this, we have to act accordingly. How we live can make all the difference. Proper diet, regular exercise, moderation in drinking, and avoidance of drugs and tobacco become even more important as we grow older. And life spans can be made longer and more pleasant by regular medical check-ups, sufficient rest, and continuing involvement in satisfying personal relationships and wholesome pursuits that keep the mind active.

Besides what the individual can do for himself, some older Americans still need the help of others to remain independent and in their own homes. Some need assistance with personal and housekeeping activities; others need attention, love, and encouragement. Families, friends, community groups, and the whole range of private and government providers of special services can do so much to help those older people who truly need assistance.

When we adopt good health habits ourselves, encourage others to do the same, and dedicate ourselves to helping those in need, we are truly fulfilling the tradition of good neighborliness.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 315, has expressed its appreciation and respect for the achievements of older Americans and its desire that these Americans continue to play an active role in the life of the Nation and has requested the President to issue a proclamation designating May 1986 as ``Older Americans Month.''

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of May 1986 as Older Americans Month. I ask public officials at all levels, community agencies, educators, the communications media, and the American people to take this opportunity to honor older Americans and to encourage them to do everything they can to make health and fitness an integral part of their lives, so that they can truly enjoy the golden warmth of their sunset years.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:14 a.m., April 24, 1986]