California’s senior population is rapidly increasing. By 2030, over nine million Californians will be over the age of 65 — that’s three million more than there are today, state projections reveal. As South Bay residents age, they typically experience significant life changes — some positive (like retirement) and some more challenging (like health issues and death of loved ones). It’s important that South Bay residents support our senior community by providing social and emotional support.
Prevent Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is unfortunately an increasingly common occurrence. It can take various forms including physical, sexual, emotional, and financial. Elder financial abuse, in particular, is increasing with 10,750 confirmed cases in California last year, Adult Protective Services reveals. Protecting seniors from financial exploitation is everyone’s priority. Make sure you strengthen and maintain relationships with elderly people in your life and look out for signs of financial abuse: missing money or credit cards and changes in the senior’s spending patterns which may indicate financial distress.
Encourage Independent Living
Many South Bay seniors are choosing to live out their golden years independently in their own homes. The South Bay Village is a non-profit organization which helps seniors “age in place” with dignity and respect. Volunteers are always needed for the program which helps the elderly remain in their own homes. Volunteers are tasked with helping seniors run errands and go to doctor’s appointments, as well as helping out around the home (by fixing leaks, tidying up, and walking the dog, for example). Most importantly, however, volunteers are needed to simply keep seniors company by talking with them or watching movies together.
Be a Santa to a Senior
The Be a Santa to a Senior program is run by Home Instead Senior Care across the USA and Canada. This year, you could bring it to the South Bay. It involves first asking local care homes and senior organizations to participate. They’ll then compile a list of elderly individuals without family who may not receive gifts this Christmas. Then local businesses put up Christmas trees in their stores with senior gift requests written on the individual tree ornaments. Members of the public can choose an ornament and purchase a gift for a senior. Volunteers are also needed to wrap and give the gifts to the seniors.
The aging process brings many challenges with it. You can help South Bay seniors stay engaged, supported, and fulfilled by volunteering your time to a good cause.