The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the global population in drastic ways and, in many countries, senior citizens are facing the most threats and challenges as a result.
While no demographic is exempt and all age groups are at risk of contracting COVID-19, older people face significantly greater risk of developing severe illness if they do contract the virus (WHO). Further, due to the stay-at-home order and social distancing requirements, seniors have been among the most isolated populations amid the crisis.
Before we continue, we want to clarify who we are referring to when we say “seniors” as the official age of a senior citizen varies according to the source. For example, according to Medicare, a senior is 65 years old or older, however Social Security benefits are eligible for seniors starting at age 62, and if you’re shopping at large supermarkets, dining at fast food restaurants, or patroning department stores you may receive a “senior discount” starting as early as 55. This month, when referring to “seniors” we will be speaking of the 65+ crowd as that is how the US Census categorizes that age group.
And the age range does matter. Even within the older population- the more elderly, the more at risk individuals are. People in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s. The greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is among those aged 85 or older (CDC).
This month, we are shining our #SpotlightOnCLT on our local nonprofit partners who work to support and serve seniors in our community and are helping them navigate the current crisis.
Aldersgate is a nonprofit retirement community actively involved in redefining and shaping the future of senior living. Their campus is 231 wooded acres with close proximity to the heart of Charlotte and is home to 600 older adults. They have a rich culture of philanthropy and are proud to celebrate more than 70 years of living their mission which is to honor elders and the commitment to creating and fostering diverse, caring communities where everyone has a voice and value. Learn more here and vote for Aldersgate to win $5K, here!
Body & Soul Senior Fitness was created to help senior adult’s live strong, productive and independent lives. They partner with local churches to provide a place for over 400+ senior adults to grow physically stronger, meet new friends and find joy in daily living. They offer fitness classes which include strength training, balance and mind/body work and hold monthly lunches and other social events to allow seniors to expand their social circles. Learn more here and vote for Body & Soul Senior Fitness to win $5K, here!
Charlotte Village Network helps seniors to live and thrive in the home and community they love for as long as possible by providing vital volunteer services and social events. They are part of a nationwide movement of 250 "villages" around the country and provide seniors with the following services: transportation, light home repairs, housekeeping, yard work, technical assistance with computers, cell phones, weekly grocery pickup and delivery, companionship visits and daily check in calls to help eliminate loneliness and isolation. They also provide social events and outings to keep seniors engaged with others in the community. Learn more here and vote for Charlotte Village Network to win $5K, here!
Christopher's House of Refuge provides housing and healthcare to at-risk seniors and disabled individuals in a small home-like environment. There are 29% of seniors living in Charlotte who live at home alone and seniors that live alone are at risk of social isolation, falling, accidental overdose and much more. Christopher’s House of Refuge also provides free education programming to families that care for their loved ones to ensure their family members get the best care that they deserve. Learn more here and vote for Christopher’s House of Refuge to win $5K, here!
Davidson Village Network is a social and support organization for older adults (55+) serving the Lake Norman Region. They are part of a nationwide movement of 250 "villages" around the country. Their members receive transportation; assistance with errands, simple household chores and repairs and yard work; technical assistance; companionship visits and daily check in calls to help eliminate loneliness and isolation; social events and outings to keep our seniors engaged with others out in the community. Learn more here and vote for Davidson Village Network to win $5K, here!
Green Box Solutions is an organization dedicated to aging, retirement planning and eldercare issues and the education, preparation and resource management needed to ensure that seniors have everything they need to live exceptional, long, independent lives. They have provided 149 gift bags for seniors living in memory care facilities and 38 financial assistance grants to local seniors. Learn more here and vote for Green Box Solutions to win $5K, here!
Southminster is a retirement living community in South Charlotte and their life plan community offers a full continuum of care including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care designed to take care of you and your needs today, as well as tomorrow They have created a Community Fund to provide aid for their residents, staff, and families. The financial support of this new generation of holistic living will help ensure the health of loved ones and their community. Learn more here and vote for Southminster Community Fund to win $5K, here!
NOTE: If selected for the $5K prize, Southminster Community Fund will be using those funds to re-stock the food pantry for the seniors at The Retreat at Renaissance West.
The Ivey is Charlotte's only memory wellness day center dedicated to serving individuals with memory loss and the families who love them. They are a place for friendship, healthy living, and medical assistance during the day with the comfort of returning home at night. Plus, they are a community partner and advocate for emerging issues affecting the aging population. Learn more here and vote for The Ivey to win $5K, here!
The Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte is an organization of volunteers that connects learning programs and services to support and enrich the lives of older adults. They offer Adventures in Learning and other educational programs where seniors enjoy fellowship and classes to help keep their minds and bodies active. Plus, they offer a Travel Adventures program that provides day trips to various nearby venues and overnight trips. Learn more here and vote for The Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte to win $5K, here!