“The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today (2016) to over 98 million by 2060.”
(Population Reference Bureau https://www.prb.org/aging-unitedstates-fact-sheet/)
These are big numbers. It is worth letting them sink in, yet it can be overwhelming to consider. So often, we are given big numbers and scary predictions and it is hard not to tune them out. However, as people who care deeply about our communities, we know that the only satisfying response is to look for the solutions.
The solutions are not simple, but there are plenty of starting places. One of these is aging in place. Most of us want to live in our homes for as long as we can. The key part of this is “as long as we can”. For some with certain chronic health problems, home will not be an appropriate safe option. However, for many of us, the length of time when we can manage at home is completely dependent on getting a bit of support – and a bit of support that we can afford.
Each person’s situation is different. One person may manage fine at home for now, but because of reduced vision, cannot safely drive. Another person can handle most things, but not the big chores. Another needs help with basic tasks like cooking and getting ready in the morning. Someone else is caring for a spouse with memory issues and cannot leave that person alone. All of this can be complicated by fixed incomes and the rising costs of necessities like housing and health care. Some can afford to pay for the help they need, but many others cannot.
This is exactly where SRC steps in. SRC started stepping in 40 years ago. Our founders could see the need for support for older adults and we have been adapting and growing for decades in response. There is a big gap between being fully able to manage everything on one’s own and needing the support of assisted living. In between these two possibilities, there are ways to keep older adults living at home, safely and confidently.
SRC has helped thousands of older people and caregivers with transportation, adult day programs, in home care, chores, care management, minor home repairs and more. We also serve as a referral source, connecting people to community partners. SRC is an advocate for older adults, responding to the needs we see every day. Aging in place truly can work well for many, with the right support.
SRC’s first 40 years is just the beginning. Population growth, extended life spans, and health care & financial issues are creating an even greater need for helping people age in place. We are facing big challenges, but there are solutions, things we can tackle right now. SRC has the foundation and on-the-ground expertise to lead in solving these challenges. For 40 more years and beyond, we must continue to create a place where we can all stay engaged and age with dignity.