There are 42 million people in the U.S. aged 65 years or older. With aging comes new changes, challenges and opportunities. Grace Smith, executive director of the Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee, joined us on a recent episode to explain Older Americans Month, healthy aging and available resources. View her segment here.
For more than 30 years, the Council on Aging has worked to address the unmet needs of older adults and caregivers through information, advocacy and education and by being a catalyst for comprehensive solutions. The organization has taken action on issues affecting seniors including community engagement, consumer fraud, elder abuse, end-of-life planning, retirement and much more.
The Council’s current top priority is improvement of senior transportation. Plans to reduce this growing problem include the implementation of a door-to-door transportation service similar to Uber and other ride-sharing tools.
Beyond transportation, the Council assists with many day-to-day issues and obstacles that older adults face including:
- Declining health
- Uncertain housing options
- Worry about financial security
- Becoming the target of scams
- Loneliness and lack of social support
If you are a caregiver of a senior citizen, the Council on Aging’s number one piece of advice is to help your loved one avoid isolation. Always encourage seniors to stay connected to their community, whether that means regular interactions with their neighbors, faith community, local establishments or a senior assistance service like Meals on Wheels. When a senior becomes isolated, they are at the greatest risk of falling victim to a scam.
For more information about senior services in your area, the Council publishes a Directory of Services for Seniors. Free copies are available through all public library branches, the Council office and online at COAMidTN.org/directory. To learn more about healthy aging and available resources, visit the National Council on Aging’s website at NCOA.org.