Aging in America
With a rapidly aging nation, both government and private agencies are making aging in America a primary focus. From technology geared towards seniors to increased social opportunities, to a plethora of housing options, growing older is taking on a new meaning across the board. And Coloradans are coming out on top!
Colorado is the Best State for Aging in America
According to U.S. News, “...[a] booming economy and collaboration with the private sector helps Colorado serve its seniors better than any other state.” Gov. John Hickenlooper attributes the state's No. 1 ranking in part to a strong collaboration among the government, the private sector, and local municipalities. As a result, Colorado has one of the healthiest 65-and-older populations of any state, and it provides its residents with some of the best Medicare and nursing home quality in the nation.
Specifically, these following areas are noted for being among the best in the country:
By 2030, the Colorado State Demography Office predicts the 65-and-older population will rise to 1.27 million, a 77 percent increase from 2015, and we’re making all the right moves to handle this increase.
Technology Geared Toward Older Americans
As the population of older American’s expands, there is a continuing increase in technology focused on health, social well-being, and safety. "Alexa," Amazon’s digital assistant, can be tailored to meet the needs of its user. For example, older Americans can ask Alexa to remind them to take their medicine and adjust lights and temperature, while their adult children can use the accompanying app to check in on them. In addition, forty-two percent of the nearly 50 million adults 65 and over today own smartphones, a drastic increase from the 18 percent who had smartphones in 2013, a survey from the Pew Research Center found.
Tech innovations to support aging in America are popping up in all areas, here are a few examples:
If that’s not enough, the nation's $3 trillion-per-year health care industry is closely monitoring tech innovations that could prevent falls or other accidents and alleviate health risks such as personal emergency response systems and sensors that attach to and report use of certain items.
“Aging in place is all the rage now, and globally, too. [Remote patient monitoring] is about to really take off," says Michael Hodin, CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging. "The opportunity to transform the delivery of health care, where remote monitoring becomes the standard of care and where, instead of having to run to the physician's office or a hospital, is phenomenal."
Increased Social Opportunities
With the elderly population living longer and healthier lives, there is a growing desire for these individuals to remain active in their communities. "The biggest misconception is that at the age of 65 you retire and go to Florida.” says recent retiree and blog author Bob Lowry. "They want to be engaged and involved and do a lot of volunteer work."
Senior Centers such as the one here in Longmont, support aging in America, offering everything from fitness activities to creative and educational workshops to computer and technology classes.
Day trips are becoming popular as well, with many places offering transportation to and from events. Seniors can now choose to explore their local community or head off to a casino, performing arts center, or natural history site that previously may have been inaccessible to them due to transportation barriers.
App’s such as MeetUp and Stitch offer social networking opportunities tailored especially for seniors, allowing them to connect with others in their community and participate in group events based on their interests.
Assisted living or senior-only communities can be great options that promote an active social life. Residents get to live among people of the same generation in a place designed to meet the needs of active seniors. These places allow seniors immediate access to all kinds of fun events and activities happening right in their own residential communities.
A Variety of Housing Options
About 90% of older adults hope to spend their golden years in their homes or communities rather than in an institutional setting, according to AARP. In addition to assisted living and senior-only communities, elderly housing options for aging in America today come in many shapes and sizes offering all levels of care.
Seniors today are often faced with too many choices, making the task of deciding where to spend your later years a daunting one. Fortunately, we’ve written a blog post, “Making Sense of Types of Elder Care Facilities” to help guide you in your search. No matter what choice you make, the spotlight on aging in America will continue to provide seniors with higher quality care available in all types of living situations.