When COVID-19 safety protocols shifted whole sectors of the health care industry from in-person visits to a telehealth model, Arjun and Hannah Verma watched their parents — a pulmonologist and a cardiologist — fret about some of their elderly patients who were unprepared for the switch.
Carbon County is mostly rural. Coupled with its older population, and considering the current pandemic, social isolation worries Therese Picasso-Edwards.
"[Seniors] just didn't feel that they are in the county-wide loop," Picasso-Edwards, the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation program director, said.
As longtime volunteers grow older, many want to take a step back to allow for more travel and leisure time. What will volunteer organizations do to fill the void, and how can we keep older volunteers active? Many communities are struggling to find an answer.
Who’s getting older? We all are. Yet denial, misinformation and fear often characterize this universal experience.
Could senior cooperative housing, a model gaining popularity in states with aging populations, be the solution to alleviating social isolation and population loss in Montana’s rural small towns?
It is not hard to associate aging adults with limited technological knowledge, nor is it difficult to understand that teens can jump onto a new device with ease. And anyone can understand that tech support in the form of automated chats or lengthy phone calls can lead to more stress than solutions.
"His mobile home was not livable,” said Missoula Aging Services (MAS) Resource Specialist Linda Howard, about a client she worked with in Seeley Lake. This was not a problem Howard or MAS had the resources to address directly, but she knew people who did.
In 2010, the Whitehall Senior Center, an activity and meals hub for seniors in Whitehall, was trying to unload a bus and a van it had been using to transport its patrons and residents of a nearby assisted-living home.
Last week in Graying Pains, the Missoulian’s David Erickson examined the introduction and implementation of Kaigo Hoken, or care insurance, in Japan, the world’s demographically oldest country. This week’s conclusion of that story explores how a similar policy might translate to Montana, the oldest state in the American West.
This is part 1 of a two-part story about financing elder care in aging populations. Part 2 — what new strategies could Montana explore? — will be published next week.