Millages keep options available

Jul 30, 2012


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


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