BY NATASHA JOSEFOWITZ, PHD
Every year, ten thousand baby boomers reach sixty-five and join Medicare. This will continue until the year 2030. The segment of the population growing the fastest is eight-five and older.
There is no infrastructure, nor enough young people to service this population. It is the silver tsunami coming to our shores.
In order to deal intelligently and compassionately with our senior citizens, we need three things:
• The use of technology, so that these seniors don't fall through the cracks of inadequate service
• Low-income housing, so that they don't end up in the street
• A policy that makes sense to deal (appropriately) with this population.
This is exactly what the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging's mission is about.
Yet there is also another way to look at this silver tsunami—not only as an impending burden, but as an incredible, possible additional resource. Studies have shown that babies and children when they are read to on a regular basis do better twenty years later in terms of not only grades, but also in terms of job prospects. We have sadly thousands of children who are not read to because of absent, stressed, or overworked parents.
This new older population can serve as surrogate grandparents and read to these children. The Center for Healthy Aging is planning senior housing on the UC San Diego campus with a kindergarten in its midst. We need resources to pair the children of greater San Diego with the appropriate seniors.
So if you believe in early education, making a difference, and helping out senior citizens experience a safe and meaningful old age, then you can be part of the solution. We need your help! Please consider a charitable donation.
Please see here for more details on how to give.
Natasha Josefowitz is a Community Board Member at the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging. An author, internationally known business consultant, and keynote speaker, she is an avid advocate for older adults. Her twentieth book is Living Without the One You Cannot Live Without: Hope and Healing after Loss.