This May, Unite Us is recognizing Older Americans Month by focusing on ways community-based organizations (CBOs) can support those aging in place.
What Is Aging in Place?
Aging in place refers to the ability of older adults to live in their own homes and communities, independently and safely, regardless of their abilities, age, or income. For many older adults, aging in place successfully allows them to remain in their community for years to come.
According to the United States Census Bureau, adults 65 and older are the fastest-growing segment of our nation, representing more than 17% of our total population.
Keeping Older Adults Safe and Connected
While sheltering-in-place helped older Americans reduce their risk of COVID-19 exposure, it came with a cost: increased isolation. Research from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine revealed that even before COVID-19, about one-quarter of Americans over age 65 were socially isolated, and more than 40 percent of people over age 60 reported feeling lonely. Social isolation can contribute to feelings of loneliness and worsen chronic conditions. The good news is, more local organizations and communities are establishing programs and interventions to support socially isolated older adults aging in place, for example:
Tailored health programs focusing on older adult fitness and nutrition
Intergenerational housing communities that pair graduate students with older adults who are at risk for social isolation
Initiatives to deliver laptops, training, and wifi to help close the digital divide for older adults with little or no access to the internet.
Home delivered meals and family caregiver support from agencies such as the National Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels, and Area Agencies on Aging.
How Your Organization Can Make an Impact
As the number of older adults in the U.S. continues to grow, more local organizations and communities around the country are seeking to establish new programs and implement interventions to help decrease the number of socially-isolated older adults nationwide.
Unite Us partners with CBOs like yours to help support older adults so they can live and thrive independently. Our end-to-end, closed-loop referral solution helps connect isolated older adults to the social care and support they need, when they need it. Saving Our Seniors, one of our CBOs, provides essentials such as medical equipment and meals to homebound older adults. Their motto is “No senior left behind,” one that we echo at Unite Us. Our coordinated care network helps cut through the red tape and endless referrals so organizations like Saving Our Seniors can help older adults faster and more efficiently.
“The Unite Us Platform allows us to help with things like medical equipment and meals, but also allows us to connect seniors with the correct resources they need. The individuals and organizations on the Unite Us Platform want to make a difference. If we work together, we can help so many more people.”
If your CBO provides assistance and support to older adults, you can make the most of your time and resources by joining our network. If you partner with us, you’ll be working alongside organizations such as United Way, Goodwill, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and many others. Joining a network is free of cost for CBOs, and because our platform is so intuitive, you’ll have abundant opportunities to positively impact older adults who are underserved and in need.
The Unite Us Difference
We have the opportunity to give older adults what they need most: better care at home. In 2021, there was a 103% increase in older adults served through the Unite Us platform. The Unite Us platform links state agencies, health systems, Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), and community providers together to connect older adults with:
Clinical services: access to allied health, nurses, primary care doctors, and specialists, for services like memory care
Personal care: help with bathing, dressing, and grooming
Daily-living assistance: meal services, cleaning, gardening, paying bills, and similar support
Social care: transportation, help with shopping, and providing opportunities to connect with other
By building strong, collaborative partnerships, we can play an active role in creating credible and reliable networks that help older adults across the U.S. age in place with dignity and compassion. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Older Americans Month than by continuing our mission to focus on whole-person care and improve health outcomes for older adults, with the help of CBOs like yours. Together, we can make a difference.