NH agencies see growing needs for seniors
Pat Melanson, left, and Dianne Cameron are regular participants of the Derry Recreation Department's Friday morning intermediate line dancing classes, one of the town's many offerings for local senior citizens. (APRIL GUILMET PHOTO)
“The aging are staying healthier for longer,” Drelick said. “The ripple effect is that we’re all feeling the strain.”
Jennifer Ortman, chief of the Census Bureau’s Population Projections branch, said that by 2030, an overall 20 percent of the United States’ population will be aged 65 or older.
At Community Caregivers of Greater Derry, a nonprofit that matches volunteers with home-bound disabled and elderly residents in seven southern New Hampshire communities, demand for services continues to grow.
“Most of our clients make slightly too much to be eligible for any service and too little to afford any services out of pocket,” said Tanuma, who noted the organization currently provides more than 200 clients with transportation, friendly visits, shopping assistance and help with household duties.
Pelham Senior Center Director Sara Landry said she’s noticed an increased demand in programs for “younger” seniors in their late 60s, a population that accounts for a large portion of new memberships.
“Perhaps it’s the many 55-plus housing units that attract new residents to our town,” Coish said. “The town is attractive to seniors because of this housing and the many available activities in services.”
“If nothing changes, we expect that number to grow to 32,000 by the year 2025 — a 45 percent increase,” Antkowiak said on Friday. “Certainly, age isn’t the only risk factor (for Alzheimer’s), but it’s the biggest one.”
“It’s an exciting development for us,” Antkowiak said. “We’re looking at a long-term, public health crisis and this is one way we’ll be able to examine different ways of delivering programs and services.”
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