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Helping our seniors extremely important

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We’re always fascinated hearing about the 100 year olds who still lift weights, lead dance classes or work full-time.

Men’s life expectancy is 76.1 years and women’s life expectancy is 81.1 years in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So we admire the still-active 100 year olds for their amazing agility, their impressive energy and their love for life. And we want to be like them.

Placer County has a handful of centenarians (100 years old and older) living active lives every day.

The county is also home to active septuagenarians (70 to 79 year olds),  octogenarians (80 to 89 year olds) and nonagenarians (90 to 99 years old).

Unfortunately, though, many Placer County seniors do not lead independent lives and need a wide range of assistance from family, county resources and senior-related organizations.

According to the Agency on Aging \ Area 4’s  assistant director Will Tift, 112,769 Placer County residents will be 60 and older in 2020. Just two years later, that number jumps to 120,605 residents. In 2040, 165,209 Placer County residents will be age 60 and older, according to the Agency on Aging \ Area 4.  

This county’s senior population will grow by the thousands for many years to come, according to Tift.

Most seniors no longer earn a salary yet their cost of living has not decreased. Bills that often are hard to pay continue for health care, housing, food, transportation and other necessities. Seniors often lose their independence and have to rely on others to survive and/or at least a friendly face from week to week.

Approximately 18 percent of county residents are 65 and older and that number is expected to rise to 27 percent by 2040, according to Placer County program manager for older adult services Colby Hytoff.

“We should be prepared, with the senior population growing, to ensure the health and well-being of our older residents.  There is going to be a need for more caregivers in the future” Hytoff said. “As the older population grows, we’ll be challenged to ensure their personal care needs are met, from someone needing help with bathing, to going to a doctor’s appointment or picking up a prescription.”

While there are many resources for seniors in the area, many residents aren’t aware of them. Hytoff suggests calling the county’s intake number at 888-886-5401 or 916 787-8860 or going online at placer.ca.gov/departments/hhs/adult for more information. Also, residents can check with the nonprofit Seniors First at 530-889-9500 or seniorsfirst.org.

Community members can also help by being good neighbors.

“Peer-to-peer support is going to be needed. Get to know your neighbors. We have isolated seniors and we need to keep an eye on them,” Hytoff said. “If they don’t have family, pay them a friendly visit or bring them a meal. We need to be a resource for each other.”

And there are several senior centers to check out.

Senior centers help residents by providing socialization, activities, lunches, keeping them engaged and active, and building supportive peer relationships, according to Hytoff.

Area senior centers include the Loomis Center L.I.FE., Maidu Community/Senior Center in Roseville, Rocklin via the Rocklin Parks and Recreation Active Adults program and now the Lincoln Senior Center.

“This is a great county with a lot of thriving senior communities,” Hytoff said. “It’s a beautiful place to live and we have numerous services available for older adults, including several senior centers.”


 

 

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