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Meeting the Challenges Ahead


August 6, 2020

National Senior Citizen Day is celebrated on August 21 and it gives an opportunity for us to recognize the gifts that seniors bring our community.  Seniors provide our community with a bridge from the way life used to be and the way life is becoming.  In today’s society we are fortunate that life expectancy grew for America’s “greatest generation.”  As seniors are living longer we are also at the beginning of the first wave of “baby boomer” retirements, nationally at a rate of 10,000 people per day.  Those retirees are now entering the aging network for care and support.  This means we expect a 79% increase in seniors needing services over the next 10 years.  This shift, often referred to as a “Silver Tsunami,” is creating a wave of needs for socialization, nutrition, personal care, transportation, and more.

Not only is the number of seniors growing but their support environments have shifted as well. When the “greatest generation” began retirement, for each retiree there were an estimated 7 caretakers who could assist with the elderly person’s needs due to larger immediate families, extended families co-locating in the same neighborhoods, and long-standing relationships in the community.  New retirees have smaller families, extended families often live hours away, and neighborhoods have become more transient in nature.  The result is that for every retiree, there will now be only 3 caretakers available.  This means less familial resources to help seniors, fewer “eyes” checking-in regularly on those who live in isolation, and increased burnout from caretakers who are able to help.

The landscape shifts are fundamentally changing the network of aging services and Senior Resources is uniquely prepared to answer these needs in our community.  As we work together to solve the challenges ahead, and currently in the midst of a humanitarian crisis brought forward by a pandemic, the goal remains to keep seniors healthy and independent.  As National Senior Day approaches, take a moment to lift up the gifts that seniors bring to our lives and join us in continuing to tackle the growing and evolving needs of seniors in our community.

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