The boomer generation is truly coming of age. Each day across the US, 10,000 Americans turn 65. By 2030, nearly 20% of the US population is expected to be over 65 and in Arizona the estimates are even higher. This aging population presents significant opportunities such as a well educated and vibrant volunteer resource for nonprofits. However the emerging demographic tsunami also presents significant challenges relating to declining health and income levels, limited transportation options and increased isolation.
Many communities across the country are stepping out to proactively address this demographic shift in creative and cost-effective ways. They have learned that addressing the needs of older citizens will improve the quality of life for all community residents. In many instances, funders are working closely with local government and nonprofit leaders to develop and implement communities that support aging in place. They know community improvements that are good for older adults are also good for kids, younger adults and families.
Funders gathered to learn how several communities across the US are implementing highly successful programs that support aging in place. They learned about new community initiatives being launched in Arizona, and how they might join in efforts to build self-reliant communities in Arizona that work for people of all ages.
We had an exciting list of speakers who introduced us to what is being done in other states. Then, our local leaders led a discussion of new initiatives being launched here.
• Candace Baldwin, Director of the Center for Long-Term Supports, NCB Capital Impact
• Evan Braff, Regional Manager of Senior Center Without Walls in Fairfax County, Virginia
• Virginia Hodgkinson, PhD, co-founder of Washington Area Villages Exchange and President of Mount Vernon At Home
• Laura Traynor, Director of the Center for Aging in Place
• Carol Kratz, Senior Program Officer, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
• Amy St. Peter, Human Services Manager for Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG)