back to top

Older Americans Month: An Opportunity for Roanokers to Age Their Way

We’re getting older, Virginia. According to an economic impact study conducted by LeadingAge Virginia, the state’s senior population is expected to increase 51.4% to 1.9 million by 2040. By comparison, Virginia’s total population is expected to grow by just 20.4% in the same time period. More than 16% of people in Roanoke are over 65 and will need access to vital healthcare services and supports as they age.

We also know that too many older adults are unable to access or afford desperately needed care and services. This is the result of a systemic lack of resources for aging services, disconnected services, and decades of underfunding, inaction, and bad policy choices by elected leaders. The COVID pandemic has only exacerbated these issues and has also fueled staff shortages, leaving too many older adults without care or stretching the time and resources of family members trying to support them.

Many older adults have more quality choices than they may realize – from extra help around the home to specialized services in the community. However, too many older adults in Virginia don’t know about the variety of services available that can help them age well. From living at home with the help from a home care provider to enjoying activities and meals at an adult day center to moving to a life plan community or accessing 24/7 care in a nursing home, aging services provides us more control so we can better enjoy life. One example of a resource available to older adults is Virginia’s No Wrong Door, a secure, person-centered system and statewide network of partners, provides access to thousands of programs and services throughout the Commonwealth.

Mission-driven nonprofit retirement communities also provide their residents with a full continuum of health care options and resources, which empowers them with choices in purposeful living. Examples include finding solutions to allow residents to remain in independent living environments longer and community outreach programs that provides the senior community with services and support that they may not be able to afford on their own. The goals are the same: to help seniors live happier and satisfying lives.

During Older Americans Month – and throughout the year – we urge all older adults in Roanoke and throughout the Commonwealth to explore the many ways we can stay independent and healthy as we grow older.

Dana Parsons is the vice president and legislative counsel of LeadingAge Virginia, an association of not-for-profit aging services organizations serving residents and clients across the senior care continuum.

Ellen D’Ardenne is the Executive Director of The Glebe Retirement Community in Roanoke.

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -

Related Articles