Four movements to watch

RosalynnCarterAttending the Aging in America conference every year is my way of sharpening the saw. This was my fifth year attending this event, and I am amazed at how I always learn something new. My role as president of Senior Concerns is taking me into new arenas—adult day programs for those with dementia, Meals on Wheels to combat food insecurity and caregiver support services for stressed caregivers. I attended this year’s conference with a fresh eye and came away with information on four movements that seem to be hot topics in the world of seniors. Pioneering a New Purpose for Maturity: According to gerontologist Ken Dychtwald, the baby boomer generation was the first to think work should be fun, that it should be a place where you grow, learn and feel good. So when it comes to paid or unpaid work, boomers will look for these same attributes. Whether starting a new business, going into the nonprofit world or volunteering, boomers are set to reinvent roles that allow them to achieve...

Putting the focus on senior hunger

senior woman drinking coffeeEvery day in our community some 5,000 seniors struggle to put the right food on their tables. Faced with financial challenges, physical limitations or isolation, they face a dilemma—whether to skip meals or choose cheaper, less nutritious meals. Linda is a 72-year-old widow with low income living in Thousand Oaks. She developed cancer last year and frequently returns to the hospital for treatment. Each time Linda comes home from treatment she is weak and frail—too weak to drive or cook for herself. Linda doesn’t have family nearby, and her limited income doesn’t allow her to hire someone to shop and prepare meals. She is not alone. Sixteen percent of seniors in our community lack access to the right foods. This phenomenon is called food insecurity. The United States has seen a 70 percent increase in food insecurity since 2005, and it is predicted we will see another 70 percent increase by 2025. Food insecurity is the tip of the iceberg. According to the Centers for Disease...

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