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Nov-17-2021 12:00printcomments

How Salem, Oregon Supports and Provides For Its Aging Community

Salem is growing older by the day, that's a statistical fact.

senior citizens
Photo by Marcus Aurelius, from Pexels

(SALEM, Ore.) - According to the World Health Organization, the world is currently experiencing an increase in its elderly community. And we don't need to look too far to see these changes in action.

Taking a look at Salem, Oregon quickly shows that citizens over the age of 60 currently make up roughly 15% of the population.

This might not sound like such a drastic number at first, but there's no denying that the community of Salem is growing older every single year. Right now the median age of Salem is 35.9, an increase of 0.9 since 2018.

Salem is growing older by the day, that's a statistical fact. However, the city has adapted quite efficiently to this reality and has a lot of policies and institutions in place to make up for this.

Proving that planning and socially conscious legislation do go a long way when it comes to supporting an aging community.

Local Institution Support

When it comes to Salem's aging community support there are two key institutions that are providing medical support for the elderly. One of them is the Northwest Senior & Disabilities Services office.

Northwest is an intergovernmental agency located in five key locations in Oregon, with one of its office centers located in Salem. Northwest offers economic and medical support to senior citizens in multiple ways, providing health programs, medical cost assistance, and multiple programs tailored specifically towards the senior community in Salem.

Live-in aids and personal aid systems can be life-saving for aging seniors. And even though they’re currently not available to everybody, the good news is, the government of Salem understands the dire need for change in this sector.

And as such, they have focused their efforts through the Center 50+ initiative that offers wellness assistance to citizens over the age of 50.

Currently, the center has restricted some of its activities due to Covid-19, but their range of virtual and remote services continues to work as intended. Virtual classes and lessons are constantly being offered through their online platform, and visitations remain available as needed.

Legal Support

The community of Salem, Oregon is aware that new challenges and needs can arise in the senior community at any time; as the previous years have proven.

And due to this, the Salem City Council partnered up with local senior residents and other authorities to assess and evaluate the liveability conditions of the city under the Age-Friendly Initiative.

Based on this input the local government is building an action plan to ensure that Salem continues to be a great city for citizens of all ages. Meaning that the current support the city offers to its senior residents is just the start.

Though the Age-Friendly Initiative is still a work in progress, Salem is already supporting its senior community with its Legal Assistance for the Protection of Elder Rights.

Timely assistance to legal complications can be vital to ensure senior residents receive the proper resources and help they need in their day-to-day lives. Through it's local Area Agency on Aging, senior residents in Salem receive economical support and are referred to law firms that can help them deal with their legal circumstances efficiently

Employment Opportunities

Finding a new job as a senior can be a considerable challenge, and as the community of Salem grows older this becomes a more pressing concern. However, there are also various services available to handle this situation.

Senior residents can contact the local employment offices to get enrolled into the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a nationwide training and job hunting program that is designed to connect senior citizens with new job opportunities in this ever-changing market.

Alternatively, Salem citizens can visit Easterseals Oregon to find general employment assistance.

Easterseals supports the senior community of Salem by connecting them with over 55 different job seekers and assisting them with resume development and any other tasks they might need to fulfill to succeed at their new career path.

Supporting the elderly community enables older adults to live independently. Through various initiatives in Salem, seniors can be healthier and happier, and have a better quality of life.

Source: Special Features Dept.


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