In Michigan every hour, 10 people turn 60, according to the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging. By 2020, one in six will be over the age of 65. During a six-year period here in the Tri-Cities, the 60-plus population grew by 270 percent. Even more staggering, the 85-plus population grew by over 325 percent.
In a study published by the Social Psychology of Aging, 56 percent of individuals over 65 reported that loneliness and poor health were serious issues for their peers – only 9 percent on average reported it being an issue for themselves. It is a self-perpetuating spiral of misconception: What we think influences how we perceive; how we perceive influences how we behave.
It’s time to examine the perceptions we hold within ourselves and that which we hold of our neighbors. Age is a chronological measure, but not directly related to quality of life or engagement in a community. Fortunate for us in our community, resident-supported millage funds keep affordable options and choices available to older adults regardless of income restrictions.
— Jerry Schoenmaker, chairman, NOCCOA
— Brigit Lewis, executive director, NOCCOA