The most significant demographic shift in our society since WWII is underway. In 2031, the youngest of the Baby Boomer generation will turn 65. From today onward, our population will age at an accelerating rate, bringing complex changes with it. Is our community prepared to face these changes successfully?
Fortunately, we don’t have to guess. At Jewish Federation, we consult and collaborate with our partner agencies across the entire breadth of our community. We’re in a unique position to identify opportunities for impact years and decades in advance.
Through our strategic planning process, we’ve identified three areas of impact to address the high-priority needs of ageing community members: ageing in place, caregiver support and social connection.
In 2011, National Household Survey results projected the following for local Jewish adults ages 65-85+:
- By 2021 the number of seniors will nearly double (from about 3,600 to 5,500)
- By 2031, this number will grow to approximately 6,200
- Increasingly different needs for members of the three main age groups:
- Younger Elderly (65-74)
- Middle-Aged Elderly (75-84)
- Older Seniors (85+)
Each of these groups will have its own expectations and attitudes. The number of younger and middle-aged elderly is expected to increase, whereas the number of older seniors will remain stable. Each group will have its own view of the role the Jewish community should play in their lives.
Our Changing Landscapes Initiative is designed to address these issues. The initiative is a community-wide planning process comprised of nine community partners, brought together by Jewish Federation: CIJA, the JCC, Jewish Family Services, Jewish Seniors Alliance, Kehila Society of Richmond, L’Chaim Adult Services, Louis Brier Home and Hospital, Peretz Centre and Tikva Housing Society.
Last year, Jewish Federation, along with several community partners, hosted the first Changing Landscapes forum. Two recommendations resulted. The first was to conduct a community survey, which we launched in early October. The first half of the survey is about existing gaps and anticipated needs, and the second is about the proposed redevelopment of the Louis Brier Home and Hospital. We want as many community members as possible to take the survey. We need your input. Please take the survey now. After, help even more by sharing the survey with three friends.
Changing Landscapes Forum on November 26th
The second recommendation was to examine innovative housing in depth. The theme of this year’s forum on November 26th is Housing Futures. Access to transportation is central to housing choices. One of our panellists will speak specifically about how to improve transportation options for older adults.
We need your input and ideas. Maybe you’re an older adult who is counting on the programs and services we support. Maybe you take care of an ageing parent, spouse or family member. Or maybe you’re starting to think about your own future. Two things are certain: every one of us will age, and every one of us has a unique perspective. Bring yours to the conversation and be part of building our community.