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This September, support seniors

What: Last year, the first of the baby boomer generation hit 65. Every day until 2030, 10,000 baby boomers will hit the 65 mark. By then, an estimated 18 percent of the American population will be 65 or older. As a significant group of Americans hit their golden years, seniors will increasingly turn to services that help them stay healthy, independent and social. Celebrate National Assisted Living Week, held Sept. 9 to 15, and support quality support care for the nation’s older population.

Background: Created in 1995 by the National Center for Assisted Living, National Assisted Living Week recognizes the value of assisted care services and emphasizes centers that truly enhance the lives of their residents. This year’s theme is “Art for the Ages,” giving the week a special focus on how art programs and education have an important place in the lives of seniors.

Story Pitch: Companies and organizations that work with older people, retirees and those approaching retirement have a good opportunity to pitch around National Assisted Living Week. Assisted living residences can share what to look for when comparing and choosing a residence, as well as the types of care residences provide. They might also want to emphasize how families can help make decisions about care for their loved ones. Retirement and financial planning services have the chance to discuss the importance of planning for assisted living, and the benefits of saving early. Healthcare providers may wish to discuss how assisted living services can benefit seniors suffering from certain illness and conditions, while also educating patients on how to remain healthy and independent as they age.

Story Hook: While many baby boomers will turn to assisted living in the future, many younger generations are looking into care for their parents now. How should they choose residences, and what features encourage family visits and activities? How will assisted living services and residences change as baby boomers become a bigger part of the market? Consider the following as you make your pitch:

  • What is the average cost of assisted living care? Does it vary by region?
  • How can residents in assisted living centers keep in contact with their families, especially when they live far apart?
  • What kind of programs have proven to be especially effective at keeping aging people active, socially and physically?
  • How do assisted living residences foster independence for their residents?

Tips: A resident at an assisted living center can discuss why they moved into their residence and how their life has improved since. A nurse or other care provider may talk about what they love about their job, and how the assisted living industry has changed. Additionally, a specialist in gerontology is a great contact to speak on the social, physical, and psychological challenges aging can present.

Resources:

American Association for Retired Persons (AARP)
(888) 687-2277
www.aarp.org

Administration on Aging – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(202) 619-0724
aoainfo(at)aoa.hhs.gov
www.aoa.gov

American Society on Aging
(415) 974-9600
www.asaging.org

National Center for Assisted Living
(202) 842-4444                  
www.ahcancal.org

–Researched, compiled & written by Kristina Elliott
Event Dates  from CHASE’S Calendar of Events

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