Improving Access to Elder Care
In the last 5 years, the senior population in our county has seen the greatest percentage growth of all age groups with a 1.4% increase. However, home-based and community-based services, which allow seniors to live with dignity and independence, have decreased significantly. These services include door-to-door transportation to grocery stores and doctor visits and aides to help with basic home chores and personal care. The decrease or stagnation of these services will be a worsening problem, as the population of seniors ages 60+ is expected to nearly double in our county from 245,000 to 443,000 by 2040. According to AARP, a senior aged 60+ with an adult child on average lives 280 miles from their adult child. Further, 9 out 10 seniors prefer to stay at home, but this is particularly challenging for the 27,700 seniors that live in poverty. These seniors live with incomes of less than $1,150 a month and they can’t afford the transportation and in-home services that allow them to remain independent
In-home and Transportation services maximize the independence of our seniors, allowing them to live with dignity in an environment that promotes their health and wellness. These services not only fulfill their needs, but also the benefits of services in the community are visible:
- According to the Florida Council on Aging, the annual average cost for in-home services is $8,046 versus the $64,770 it costs for nursing home services
- According to the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Commission for Transportation Disadvantaged, every $1 invested in medical and nutritional trips gives a $5.07 return in preventative care savings.
HOPE is organizing to increase in-home and community based services for the growing population of seniors, especially low-income seniors across the county.