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Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting a Proposed Senior Citizens Act.

May 15, 1962

[Released May 15, 1962. Dated May 14, 1962]

Dear Mr.__________:

I am transmitting herewith a draft of a bill entitled the "Senior Citizens Act of 1962." The bill has two principal purposes:

first, it will provide assistance for research, demonstration, and evaluation projects leading to the development of new and improved programs to help older persons. These projects will, in most instances, be under the control of the states, local communities, and nonprofit institutions and organizations.

Secondly, it will encourage and assist universities, professional schools and other institutions, organizations and agencies to increase their programs for training those professional and technical people needed to provide the broad range of services required by older people.

The life expectancy of our population, the number of older people, and the number of years that our citizens spend in retirement are increasing. By 1970, approximately 20 million persons will be over age 65. Many of our older citizens face special problems resulting from reduced incomes, inadequate housing, large medical bills, declining health, unproductive leisure time, and lack of opportunity to continue their useful service to society. While our present programs are helping them to meet their most serious problems, important gaps remain in services for our older people.

The purpose of the proposed Senior Citizens Act of 1962 is to enable the federal Government to help fill these gaps in existing programs through participation in a major cooperative effort with the states and local communities to accelerate efforts already under way to improve the living conditions of this important segment of our population. It will permit the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare to assist such activities as (1) community planning of coordinated services for older persons, (2) experimentation and demonstration of techniques for more fully using the leisure time of retired persons through community service projects and educational and recreational programs, and (3) training of gerontologists and other specialists needed to expand services to the aged.

for these purposes, an annual authorization for $10 million in appropriations for five years is requested.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

On May 14 the President also issued Executive Order 11022 establishing the President's Council on Aging (3 CFR, 1962 Supp., p. 211). The Council was given responsibility for making recommendations as to federal programs for the aging, for coordinating action by federal agencies, and for disseminating information among the federal agencies and the State, local, and private agencies and organizations interested in the problems of the aging.

John F. Kennedy, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting a Proposed Senior Citizens Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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