New Yorkers Over 50 Years of Age Urged to Become Organ Donors
May 1st, 2014 by Nancy Ryan
Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network (FLDRN) is urging all New Yorkers who are over 50 years of age to celebrate “Older American’s Month” during May by registering as an organ donor.
This call from FLDRN follows a U.S. presidential proclamation calling upon this older age group to give back to their communities.
President Obama, in his proclamation in recognition of Older Americans Month 2014, stated: “With decades of experience and unyielding enthusiasm, seniors continue to lift up our neighborhoods, offer perspective on pressing challenges, and serve as role models to our next generation – proving Americans never stop making a difference or giving back. I encourage older Americans to learn about service opportunities in their area by visiting www.SeniorCorps.gov.”
Commenting on Mr. Obama’s message, FLDRN Executive Director Rob Kochik said enrolling as an organ donor is one important and meaningful way for older Americans to give back to society.
“Any age is the right age to enroll as organ, eye and tissue donor.”
“The fact is that New Yorkers who are in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s are still able to give the Gift of Life despite the notion that many people think they are too old,” Mr. Kochik said. “Any age is the right age to enroll as organ, eye and tissue donor.”
FLDRN’s message, Mr. Kochik said, is “people should not rule themselves out because of their age or health reasons – and we encourage everyone to discuss their wishes with their family members.”
Older Americans can also donate tissues such as skin, bone and corneas.
To become an organ, eye and tissue donor, New Yorkers should enroll with the New York State Donate Life Registry. They can enroll online or by mailing in an enrollment form.
Older Americans Month: Background
Older Americans Month recognizes older Americans for their contributions and provide them with information to help them stay healthy and active.
According to the Administration for Community Living, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, when Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthdays.
About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing, however.
In April of 1963, President John F. Kennedy’s meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens served as a prelude to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month.”
Thanks to President Jimmy Carter’s 1980 designation, what was once called Senior Citizens Month, is now called “Older Americans Month,“ and has become a tradition.