On January 1, 2011, the first of the Baby Boomers turned 65 years old. Despite waves of data, analysis and even warnings that suggest we should be preparing aggressively for this aging population bulge, the general response has been an overall yawn about the effect this remarkable social phenomenon will have on our country, our state, and our local community. Currently, 12% of Greenville’s population is over 65 years old. Within the next 10 years, this demographic segment will more than double to one of every four people in Greenville. Studies show that, primarily, neither the boomers nor their families are properly prepared for aging. Senior Action strives to provide a wide variety of programs to meet a vast array of needs of the senior population, but we know we have barely scratched the surface of the current and coming need—for Seniors and their families!
organizations like senior action produce healthier seniors
Seniors are living longer but not necessarily healthier. With the extension of the life-expectancy by 20 years over the last two decades, it is clear that for a variety of reasons (better nutrition, better healthcare, etc.) people are living longer. But, Americans are not generally healthier and struggle with obesity, lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol use, and others. Studies conducted by the National Council on Aging have revealed that seniors who participate in senior center programs are healthier than their counterparts who do not. The benefits to a senior’s health are great and include:
- Increased access and support for exercise and a healthy lifestyle
- Increased access to good nutrition
- Increased access to established social support
- Increased access to regular mental stimulation
- Increased access to information for financial planning and education
- Opportunities to feel needed and valued through volunteering
It has been proven that 75% percent of the factors that determine someone’s health later in life are the result of lifestyle choices, not the aging process itself. Choosing Senior Action, makes seniors healthier.
organizations like senior action save the community money
The cost of care for a senior in our community is high. According to the US Census Bureau, the healthcare cost per capita for a person over 65 years old is three to five times greater than the cost for those under 65. A recent study revealed just how big a problem this, especially for those that are socially isolated.
But, healthcare costs are just part of the story, there are costs for public safety and transportation. Those people who are caring for aging parents realize this too well. The time away from work and other demands take a serious toll on a family caregiver – financially, physically, and mentally. With only 5% of the senior population ever living in an assisted living or nursing home, 95% of seniors live with family or alone. If all of the family caregivers one day all decided they had had enough, our healthcare system would not be able to support the demand and the cost would be astronomical.
Each year, the cost of care for a senior in assisted living can range from $40,000 to $70,000. Whereas, the cost of programs for seniors at Senior Action, that keep them healthy longer, is close to $700. Senior Action programs are worth the investment.