Helping older adults age well in our community
John, a Weld Food Bank volunteer, has been delivering food to Jeanette, who is age 87, for the last several years. As she is no longer able to drive and with no family nearby, Jeanette and John often sit and visit.
For their life success, it is key that older adults have the supports that they need to age well in the community of their choice. Cities and towns that are age friendly bring about a better quality of life for older adults and everyone that lives in them.
- Nationally, almost 10,000 Baby Boomers turn the age of 65 every day.
- People are living longer and healthier lives; while ultimately a fortunate circumstance, this is putting a strain on health care and human services capacity.
- Those aged 50 and older are a growing segment of people experiencing homelessness.
- United Way manages the Aging Well Volunteer Recruitment Initiative, which connects volunteers with older adult serving organizations throughout Weld County.
Across the United States, a seismic human services shift is occurring as the Baby Boomer generation—the largest generation in size until Millennials—enters into retirement age. As people live longer, more assistance specifically for older adults is needed, both for those growing older at home, and for those living in long-term care facilities. Colorado’s 65+ population is growing at the third fastest rate in the nation—between 2010 and 2020 this group grew 75% in Weld County.
This situation is difficult for many households and can be costly for our community. Locally, there will be an increased need for activities such as home delivered meals, transportation, personal care services, case management and helping with chores, to list just a few. A 2018 Weld County survey indicated that 25% of older adults have experienced a problem accessing safe and affordable transportation.
“United Way brings our community together. We are proud to be a part of efforts to build a stronger Weld County, to find solutions to problems, to fill gaps, to connect people with the resources they need and to help people when they need it the most.”marilyn schock, Greeley Hospital president, UCHealth
City of Evans, City of Greeley and Garden City are now members of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities; the goal is to lead the community in becoming more age friendly.
The Aging Well shared effort includes over 20 organizations. Investments are made in a number of programs with county-wide impact that lead to older adults aging well with the support that they need to do so. Activities include:
ensuring food security
providing case management and grief recovery assistance
increasing housing, recreation and transportation opportunities
improving older adult physical and mental health outcomes
connecting volunteers with opportunities to serve older adults
assisting those with memory and dementia challenges and their caregivers
Plus, as funded by NextFifty Initiative, United Way hosts the Aging Well Volunteer Recruitment Initiative, which connects volunteers to older adult serving organizations throughout Weld County.