Senior Concerns’ services have grown with population

Certain charitable organizations are even more vital today than they were 20 years ago.

For example, brain disorder nonprofits like the Alzheimer’s Association orAutism Speaks are serving a much larger percentage of the population today than when they were founded.

Whether the originators of these organizations were visionary or were simply responding to a need at the time, we’re fortunate to have nonprofits that are focused on growing challenges in our communities.

Early on, the founders of Senior Concerns realized an unmet need for nutrition for homebound seniors. Over the ensuing years, the organization grew to meet a large variety of needs of aging seniors and their families.

I’m fairly certain those founders hadn’t imagined the demographic and longevity changes that would take place over the years, but never has an organization been more relevant to a community. We have begun to experience substantial growth in our older population, which will continue over the next 30 years.

The age 85-plus demographic is growing the fastest; it is projected to more than triple by 2030, from 5.9 million to 19.2 million. This group may be challenged by chronic health conditions, limited financial resources, transportation issues, food insecurity and difficulty accessing trusted resources, often resulting in elder abuse.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in two in the age 85-plus group will experience some form of dementia. Most people with a dementing illness will be cared for at home by a family member, who themselves may experience a variety of physical, emotional, financial and social burdens associated with the caregiving role.

This changing age structure of the population will affect both families and society. Senior Concerns’ services are there to meet vital needs in our community.

Here’s how.

Keeping our community exceptional for aging seniors and their families. Senior Concerns is aimed at making the Conejo Valley one of the best places to grow old for people of all incomes. As a local organization, it understands and embraces the interests and values of our community, like safety, security, enrichment and having a sense of belonging.

Keeping our seniors in the community and out of institutions.Senior Concerns provides life-affirming resources that help seniors remain as independent as possible for as long as possible and enables families to avoid premature placement of their loved ones into nursing home facilities by enhancing the quality of seniors’ lives.

Its core programs include an adult day program for seniors with cognitive or physical impairments, Meals On Wheelsfor homebound seniors, a caregiver support center that provides invaluable services, information and emotional support for family (unpaid) caregivers, senior advocacy, pro bono legal and financial services, and outreach and education to the community on aging’s challenges and opportunities.

Delivering support to burdened family caregivers. Today, family caregivers provide 80 percent of the long-term care in this country, valued at more than the total government spending on Social Security and Medicare combined. The goal of long-term care is to enable an individual to attain and maintain an optimal level of functioning by providing a wide array of medical, social, personal and supportive services needed by individuals who have lost some capacity for self-care.

By supporting not only the senior but also the family caregivers, Senior Concerns helps to ensure better emotional and physical health for the entire family.

Lastly, Senior Concerns is here to honor our seniors. To quote Tia Walker, author of “The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love”: “To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.”

There is no local organization more poised than Senior Concerns to help the large and growing population of seniors and family caregivers. Way to go, founding members!


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Tags: Senior Concerns

Andrea GallagherAndrea Gallagher

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