Our Facebook page is full of those. We gain, among other things, wisdom, confidence, ease in being ourselves and speaking our minds. That’s all good, but there are challenges too – especially as the digits grow. Some will age in place with all the necessary support from family, friends, and caregivers. Not everyone is that fortunate. Some don’t have family or friends to help, don’t qualify for IHSS, and don’t have the financial means to hire people to help them. I don’t mean to write a gloom and doom kind of blog, but it’s important to tell the truth. Some people are aging in place with dignity, but hundreds of people in our community are not. They live alone with no one to help them. They can’t easily leave their homes, so, they spend day in and day out alone – isolated. They can’t get to doctor’s appointments, so, they skip medical care. Some are hungry, lonely, sad… they’re hurting. The senior population is expected to rise dramatically over the next two decades, which means the number of older seniors aging in place without support is going to continue to rise. What are we doing about it? And, if we do nothing, what does that say about us? We need to have conversations about topics that define us as a community and this, our seniors aging in place without support, will define us. It will also, one day, affect us. We are all aging.
Life matters – at every stage and because it matters, we need to take our blinders off, feel comfortable with uncomfortable topics, engage in conversation, find solutions, and work together. We have to because there is nothing comfortable for a senior aging in place without needed support. There is nothing comfortable for caregivers trying so very hard to balance work/life while caring for a loved one. We all need to access basic needs, such as the need for medical care, preventive care, food, human connection, social activities… and much more. As we age, these become critical to our health while at the same time, harder to access.
Imagine for a moment not having the freedom to drive, the ability to access public transportation, or the financial means to hire people to help. What would you do? What would life look like for you? I know there are many needs in the world, but there are millions of us in the world that can make a difference, if only in the life of one.
Our agency is here to serve, but we need you. We need volunteers willing to give a couple of hours a month to drive a senior to the grocery store or a medical appointment or to pay a friendly visit. We need donors who see the value of helping seniors age in place with dignity. If you’d like to be part of the solution, please call 805-925-0125. We need you.