Within the Federal Department of Health & Human Services is the Administration on Aging. Their vision is,
ensuring the continuation of a vibrant aging services network at State, Territory, local and Tribal levels through funding of lower-cost, non-medical services and supports that provide the means by which many more seniors can maintain their independence.
That vision may not resonate with devotees of the philosophy of The Fountainhead, but to those of us involved in senior care and home care, trying to help millions of our elders age in place, in their homes, it sounds pretty darn good.
One of the important jobs of the Administration on Aging is to understand the numbers, the statistics pertaining to our aging population and some of the ramifications of those statistics.
For example, as of 2008, 40% of women 65 years of age and older live alone. As they get older and require assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental ADLs, there is no one else in the home to help.
As of 2007 (before the economy really hit the skids), about 40% of folks 65 years of age and older had income less than 2x the poverty level, and 40% of that income was from Social Security.
In terms of health, 42% of men over 65 and 55% of women the same age suffer from arthritis, making accomplishment of ADLs and IADLs more difficult. 38% of the men and 27% of the women suffer from heart disease. 38% of the population 65 and over have difficulty with ADLs / IADLs.
We need to remember that these statistics are for the population 65 and older, not 75 or 80 and older. That really says something about the services needed for our senior population. So, as far as we are concerned, Administration on Aging, keep on keepin’ on.
Best wishes, Bert