Like most friends and co-workers I know, I have been dealing with many older relatives and neighbors in the last couple of years. Many of them are living independently, still driving, and have increasing health issues. An article in Tuesday’s Miami Herald, Assessing an aging relative, made me think of how difficult it is to tell whether or not an older person is truly okay living on their own or whether or not they may need assistance. The labyrinth of social and medical programs that are out there to help people age in their homes are confusing and hard to navigate. Luckily, Nancy Stein, an adjunct professor at UM, found the same issues facing her in caring for her parents so she brought the information together on a website called Seniority Matters.
The Village of Pinecrest has made a concerted effort to provide programming for seniors at the parks and community center, has a quarterly Pinecrest Pioneers luncheon for residents over 80 years old, and, in recognition of how much history our seniors provide, has been recording their oral histories. All of these local services and resources help our seniors remain involved in the community, live independently, and give all of us caregivers peace of mind and assistance when needed.