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Senior Services
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Senior Citizen Services

Support ‘aging in place’ for town senior citizens

 Doesn't everyone want the option of remaining in the town where they spent most of their adult life?

The Town of Hurley is getting old. Demographics highlight the aging of our residents.

Town of Hurley
Percent of Population Age 55 and Older

(Source: US Census)

1950
25.3%
1960
16.4%
1990
25.2%
2000
30.2%

To remain in familiar surroundings a senior citizen may need both physically and fiscally appropriate housing and supportive services.

Finances may dictate finding less expensive housing as real estate taxes, home heating, and maintenance costs rise while income is fixed. Health issues may compromise one's ability to manage stairs or, as we age, we may need assistance caring for ourselves or maintaining our home.

The initial survey indicated strong support for housing and services that would enable senior residents to ‘age in place.’

Services
The most frequent services needed include transportation, recreation, home delivered meals, housekeeping assistance, home health assistance, shopping, and home maintenance.

Few of these services prove feasible or cost effective for the town to offer independently to our small population. Our research showed, however, many of these services are already offered on a county-wide basis. Some are only available privately through family, neighbors, or 'for hire.' Some are offered by volunteer organizations; some require means testing.

We found, though, that most residents are unaware of available services or of the gaps that exist.

Potential Solutions

The Town should publicize services available through the county and advocate for services needed but not available.

We believe that in a town like ours some of those gaps can and should be filled by friends and neighbors. That’s what makes Hurley a great place to live.

Volunteer Support

We recommend that the Town Board foster and support volunteer efforts to assist neighbors and publicize the services that are available. Neighbors can ensure that none of our elderly residents remain isolated, especially in times of storm emergencies.

Many towns have organized volunteers to visit, transport, shop, and provide other supportive services. We would like to see a similar volunteer effort started here.

Information and Referral

Our public education and communication vehicles can include on-going articles about services available. We could have a local information and referral line to connect people with resources.

The committee recommends forming a Senior Citizen's Advisory Committee to research model programs in other communities and put a program of supportive volunteers and information and referral in place here. The Town may need to support this effort with seed money or grant applications.

Senior Housing
When the time comes to scale down to one floor or less square footage many residents would like the option to stay in town. Many expressed concern about the lack of ‘accessible’ housing available here. We have made several recommendations about senior or accessible housing elsewhere.

Re-Survey

Because so many of our citizens will become seniors over the next few years, we recommend that the Town re-survey in three to five years to assess changes in the adequacy of services available.

 

Senior Services Recommendations
  • Establish a Senior Services Advisory Committee to identify gaps in services, and advocate to fill them, and to organize a volunteer effort to provide at least weather emergency support, information and referral.
  • See Senior Housing recommendations
  • Re-Survey Senior Citizen needs in 3-5 years.

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