Municipal Election: Community Effects of Proposed Budget Cuts
To assume that the effects of these proposed cuts will only be felt within JGF’s walls is inaccurate. Our seniors often take the lessons and resources they acquire at “The Center” and carry them out into the community.
Meet Nick & Marylou
Their instructor Lois Blackmore has been teaching here for over 10 years in partnership with the RCC Young at Heart Program. The couple began attending our Monday morning art class just over 2 years ago. This past February, Nick became an award winning artist for his pastel painting Comrade in Arms. Today, he has started an Art Council in Jurupa Valley and teaches fine art to local 5th graders. His wife, Marylou, takes the new techniques and skills she learns at Goeske to a local senior retirement community where she leads an art class for residents.
The senior population has already grown 15% (since 2000) and is expected to climb to 35% by 2020. In fact, the entire senior population is expected to DOUBLE by 2050. With this huge shift in america’s aging structure, we must prepare for an increase in chronic diseases and functional disability as well. This is a reality that we can’t afford to ignore. If we fail to plan and act now, this could place an unimaginable burden on families and communities.
Marilyn Lynch, our resident Senior Advisor for nearly 20 years, has helped answer tens of thousands of senior related questions and contrary to what her title may suggest, Marilyn’s advise is not exclusively offered to seniors. She works with adult children who are preparing to become caregivers for aging parent and concerned neighbors who are afraid that the elderly couple living down the street may no longer be able to maintain their home. She often works with families, friends and neighbors to help them identify services and connect with resources.
Families who chose to take on the role of caregiver are often buried by high medical costs, constant stress, and limited (if any) income due to the amount of time and attention needed to care for the aging individual. Placing the person in adult day care, assisted living facility, or hiring in-home help is often impossible due to a lack of availability, inability to pay for services, or strong family values that forbid leaving loved ones in another’s care. Concerns about the sustainability of Social Security & Medicare also arise, when we consider the expected inflation in medical costs and growing number of persons requiring help.
Jim attended Goeske for many years before developing severe health problems in his late 80s that left him homebound. His family moved from Los Angeles to take care of him full-time. When they decided to return to work, they had to hire a caregiver to stay with him 11 hours per day. Rather than sitting at home in front of the TV, the caregiver brought him to Goeske to participate in activities for a few hours every day. Nine months later, the caregiver was only needed for 6 hours a day and Jim was able to spend time at Goeske alone. After a year, the caregiver was no longer needed and Jim could take a cab from home to Goeske and back every day.
All seniors want to remain independent, maintain their dignity and avoid becoming a burden on their friends, family, and society. The comprehensive, whole-person centered programming that JGF provides (physical, mental, social and emotional) is essential for maintaining quality of life. By providing comprehensive health and wellness programming, JGF is not only improving the quality of life for our seniors, we are improving the quality of life for their families and the community as a whole.
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