May 04, 2011

U.S. Secret Service and FBI Agents Help Kick Off Older Americans Month in Missouri

U.S. Secret Service agents and other experts will travel throughout Missouri this month to provide tips to seniors on topics ranging from how to stop fraud to the latest advances in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The effort is part of Older Americans Month, an annual, nationwide event first proclaimed by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. U.S. presidents ever since have proclaimed May as a time to pay homage to older people.

"Economic security and health care are seniors' top two concerns, so we compiled a list of dynamic speakers to address those concerns," said Margaret Donnelly, director of the Department of Health and Senior Services. "We encouraged our partners statewide to book a speaker for a special event in May, or let us know about the activities they already had planned.

And they did. Speakers, group events and entertainment are planned from St. Louis to Springfield and Columbia to Liberty.

Here's a sampling of the lineup:

  • U.S. Secret Service and FBI agents will tell seniors how to protect themselves from current fraud trends in Bridgeton, Ballwin, Wentzville, Laurie and Versailles.
  • Nutrition specialists show seniors how to bring out their inner Julia Child in Jefferson City.
  • Photographers give the lowdown on taking top-notch photos in Owensville and Warsaw.
  • Ombudsmen in Cameron and Howard County will discuss how to make nursing homes more like home.

An interactive statewide calendar of events is available on the department's website. Go to and click on the rotating Older Americans Month logo at the top of the page.

In Missouri, the number of people age 65 and older is projected to grow by some 450,000 over the next 13 years. That will bring the senior population to an estimated 1,255,000. This growth will increase the proportion of seniors in the state's population from 13.6 percent in 2009 to 15.1 percent by 2015 and to 19.1 percent by 2025.