Healthy aging includes developing and maintaining optimal mental, social, and physical well-being and function in older adulthood. This includes addressing basic needs, optimizing health and well-being, promoting social/civic engagement, and supporting independence. In Marathon County, there is recognition of the impact the aging population will have on our communities: workforce shortages; generations that are currently functioning well and enjoying a high quality of life may transition into a lesser quality as they age; the burden of high economic costs related to health care for chronic conditions, as well as nursing home or long-term care; and the loss of community assets—adults that were once able to volunteer, engage civically, and positively contribute to their communities.
As a community, we must strive to assist the aging population in maintaining a high quality of life and independence. In order to achieve this, there is the need for infrastructure to allow aging-related service providers to work together collaboratively, changing policies and organizational systems in order to enhance program and service delivery for the aging population.
Marathon County is rich in resources for our aging population. There is benefit in exploring methods to enhance Marathon County’s aging-related information system, to achieve a more comprehensive, centralized system to access information regarding available services and program, including their eligibility requirements and enrollment processes.
It is crucial to recognize the necessity of planning as you age, not only financially, but also socially, spiritually, mentally, and physically. Mindful consideration of these aging aspects may decrease the need for the aging population, their families, and service providers to operate in a “crisis-mode”, as so many do currently. Increasing the awareness and knowledge of the aging population and their families about the importance of planning across the aging spectrum is critical.
Developing and maintaining optimal mental, social, and physical well-being and function in older adulthood. This includes addressing basic needs, optimizing health and well-being, promoting social/civic engagement, and supporting independence.
- Establish infrastructure for aging-related service providers to collaborate.
- Create or enhance centralized system for information-programs, services, and eligibility requirements.
- Establish community messaging about “planful aging.”
- Number of injury deaths due to falls among those 65 years of age and over per 100,000 population. Baseline: Fall Fatality Rate (77.1); Source: County Health Rankings, 2012-2014.
- Percentage of 65 years and older who live alone (proxy measure for social support). Baseline: 5.90%; Source: County Health Rankings, 2011-2015.
- Percentage of households below ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Threshold. Baseline: 58% (under $40,000); Source: ALICE Report, 2016.