Introduction of Series: About Senior Independence Awareness Month
February is Senior Independence Awareness Month. In this three part series, we will be sharing all the ways we support senior independence from access to nutritious meals, mental health services, social activities, transportation assistance and advocacy.
Independence is important at any age, but this month encourages one to consider how to preserve his or her independence and quality of life.
According to our 2019 Community Needs Assessment (page 8), South Dakota had the seventh largest rural population aged 65 or older in 2016, as a percentage of the overall population. The Black Hills region is aging faster than the state as a whole.
A primary driver of the regional trend, relative to the rest of rural South Dakota, is the region’s ability to attract retirees. The aging trend can also drive a need for a particular set of services targeting older adults, which was identified as a community need during community conversations.
As our communities continue to age, it is our social responsibility to adapt and respond to availability and ease of accessibility for senior citizens in our communities. 2020 was no exception and proved our funded organizations abilities to adapt their services due to the COVID-19 pandemic to still serve a compromised group by adjusting their health and safety measures. From temporarily closing congregate food halls and delivering meals to homes, to ordering PPE equipment to lower the risk of transmission and tele-health counseling services...these organizations continue to make a difference in the lives of those who may not be able to go out.
Click on the links below to read more about Senior Independence Awareness Month.
Part 1: Access to Nutritious Meals to Maintain independence
Part 2: Mental Health and Social Engagement