The elderly in the United States are growing in number. Currently, about 46 million individuals in the country are 65 years old and older. These individuals represent a significant portion of the population and contribute to society in many ways. Here are five ways that the elderly contribute to the community:
Wealth of knowledge
Older people have lived through more experiences than most and can offer valuable insights and perspectives on a wide range of topics. They also tend to be more patient and have better listening skills, which makes them ideal sources of advice and counsel.
Teach Younger People
Many seniors are happy to share their expertise with younger generations. Whether teaching them how to cook, fix a car, or use a computer, their skills will be invaluable to those who receive them.
Despite popular belief, the majority of seniors are active members of the workforce. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, seniors aged 65 and over had a labor force participation rate of 18.8% in 2018 – that’s nearly one in five workers! Additionally, many seniors start their businesses or volunteer their time to local organizations, which help stimulate the economy.
Older people play an essential role in fostering social cohesion within a community. They often contribute their time and energy to various local causes and organizations, which helps build a stronger sense of community spirit. Additionally, they often act as mentors or role models for younger people, helping to instill essential values such as respect, responsibility, and teamwork.
Diversity is an essential component of any thriving community. It helps create an environment that is rich with different perspectives and experiences — something that is essential for growth and innovation. And with people living up to 77 years old in the country, seniors play an increasingly important role in ensuring that communities remain diverse places where people of all ages can thrive.
The elderly are crucial for your community. However, they also deserve care and support from the government. Here are ways your local government can do that.
People who’ve recently retired have a variety of benefits given to them. The first is social security. Upon retiring, employees receive social security benefits, a government-sponsored program offering seniors protection. Medicare is another government-sponsored health insurance program specifically for those aged 65 and over. However, these aren’t enough. Here are some essential benefits that your local government should give seniors in your community.
More and more seniors are planning to age in place, so they’ll need assistance. One way your local government can help is by providing in-home care services. These services include help with household chores, transportation, and personal care. Seniors should also gain access to experienced home health aides. These aides can give them the support they need to age safely and comfortably without the constant monitoring of their working family members.
Caregivers often need a break from their duties, but arranging for respite care can be difficult and expensive. Your local government can alleviate this burden by offering respite care services. These services provide caregivers with temporary relief to take a much-needed break.
Many seniors struggle to afford a house, especially those with fixed incomes. Your local government can help by providing housing assistance. This assistance can be subsidized housing, property tax relief, or home improvement grants.
Mental Health Aid
Many seniors suffer from mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. Your local government can provide mental health aid. Here are some of those options.
Most seniors that experience mental health issues can benefit from counseling. Counseling provides a safe space for seniors to discuss their problems and develop coping mechanisms.
Group therapy is similar to counseling but takes place with a group of people. This therapy can benefit seniors because it allows them to connect with others experiencing similar issues.
The pandemic can hinder seniors’ access to mental health services. However, online therapy provides an alternative for those who can’t or don’t want to leave their homes.
Support groups provide a space for discussion and allow seniors to offer support to each other. These groups can be helpful because they provide social interaction and enable seniors to feel like they’re not alone in their struggles.
These are only a few ways your local government can help support the seniors in your community. By providing these services, you’ll not only be helping the elderly, but you’ll also be making your community a better place for everyone.