Aging with Purpose
Senior Services “Aging with Purpose” has goal to bring Renewed Purpose and Meaning to Seniors’ Lives
Forsyth County is aging.
According to the latest census, the number of seniors in the Triad will nearly double in the next 25 years. Further, it is estimated that approximately 20 percent of the population aged 65 or older will need significant assistance to manage normal activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, and dressing – activities critical to keeping people aging in their homes. As a recognized leader in aging, Senior Services, Inc., a nonprofit in Winston-Salem, is taking steps to address the increasing number of seniors needing help in the coming years.
Senior Services has kicked off the public phase of its $5.5 million “Aging with Purpose” campaign to expand its capacity to serve area senior citizens. “The Aging with Purpose campaign will better prepare our community for what’s ahead,” said Richard Gottlieb, President and CEO of Senior Services.
In addition to helping provide for the growing need among Senior Services’ existing programs, campaign funds will also support the launch of a pilot program to bring renewed purpose and meaning to seniors’ lives. The program, also called “Aging with Purpose,” is designed to improve the overall health and well-being of frail elders by addressing loneliness, helplessness, and boredom – three factors proven to affect quality of life.
Through this innovative, multi-year pilot project, seniors will be interviewed and connected with personally meaningful engagement activities. For example, homebound elderly are now checking on other seniors through telephone calls, being paired with volunteers for pet visits, and also advising us on our community garden.
At regular intervals, Senior Services staff will administer an assessment to gauge improvements in quality of life, depression, social isolation, and health care utilization. Early evidence from the pilot project is showing promising results, with reductions in medication usage, increased quality of life indicators, and a reduction in geriatric depression. With continued successes, these ideas will be replicated in similar senior service organizations across the country.
With a key goal being to assess our preparedness for the coming boom in senior residents, work is underway to conduct a large survey of area seniors and collect extensive data to identify community assets and gaps and determine how we measure against other areas in the country. This process will produce a preliminary report to the community by May 2017.
The Aging with Purpose campaign allows for a community-wide conversation and process to make Forsyth County the best place to age in the country.
For more information about the Aging with Purpose campaign or how you can get involved in making life more meaningful for thousands of seniors across our community, please contact Senior Services at 336-725-0907.
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