Feelings of isolation and loneliness affect older adults at higher rates. An estimated one-fourth of older adults report being socially isolated and one-third lonely. This is a growing concern since the effects of social isolation have an impact on physical and mental health.
That’s where Shepherd’s Centers of America comes in. We are one of the first organizations in the nation dedicated to happy, healthy aging in place.
In A Proven Experiment, Dr. Rusty Ryan has compiled and published a legacy book with the purpose of serving future older adult generations across the U.S. This book documents the unique Shepherd’s Centers “by, with, and for older adults” model with a team of writers who helped shape its history.
This book is evidence of the positive impact of Shepherd’s Centers on a better quality of life for older adults when we meet and exceed the social, civic, health, and spiritual dimensions of aging.
Order your copy from Amazon here.
All proceeds from the sale of this book stay within the SCA Network to continue to meet the needs of older adults.
Every day, 10,000 people are turning 65. In about a decade, 1 in 5 residents will be retirement age, and older adults will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history.
Facts about Aging in America
- The older population is nearly 40 million strong. About one in eight Americans are age 65 or above. There are more people over age 60 than under 15.
- Americans are living longer. In 2000, life expectancy had risen to 81 years for males and 84 for females. By 2030, it’s projected that life expectancy will rise to 83 for males and 87 for females.
- The elderly, individuals 85+, are the fastest growing age group at an estimated six million Americans—twice as many as in 1990.
- Minorities make up almost half of the older population with 42% of people 65 and older from minority groups.
- Many elderly are poor or close to it. An estimated 16.8% of the elderly in America are poor or near poor.
- Older individuals volunteer. Nearly half, or approximately 15 million, adults 65 and older volunteer in some form.
- Your brain never stops growing. We grow new neurons with time, and the brain is constantly reshaping itself in response to learning.
- As you get older, you get happier. Many people report that they feel more content as they age.
- The elderly vote more than any other age group with a reported 70% of citizens 65 and older voting in 2008, the highest turnout rate of any age group.
- Most older adults are in good health. At the age of 75 or older, 66% of individuals report being in good health while 34% report fair or poor health.
- Elderly drivers have fewer accidents. Despite popular belief, drivers over 65 have fewer accidents per person than those under 65.
- Loneliness and isolation affect one-third to one-half of older adults. And these feelings act as a fertilizer for disease and illness, such as cognitive decline, heart disease, high blood pressure and depression.
- Ageism may be more common than sexism and racism.
All across the U.S. Shepherd’s Centers are making a difference among older Americans in very important ways — every single day.
Learn more about the work of the Shepherd’s Centers Network.
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