As you may have noticed, in preparation for Episcopal Retirement Services' Refresh Your Soul positive aging conference next month in Cincinnati, we've been focusing a lot of attention on ways that seniors can keep themselves healthy and boost their happiness.
Seniors aging in place can't always manage everything alone. Positive aging sometimes requires outside support from community-based services, aging experts, researchers and social safety net programs.
Today, let's take a moment to make you and your loved ones aware of some of the key healthy aging resources available to seniors and their family caregivers here in Louisville.
1. U of L's Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging
Positive aging and healthy aging aren't just buzzwords floating about in elder care forums. They're areas of serious, academic inquiry. And a good bit of research on best practices for positive aging is being done right here at the University of Louisville.
The Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging is a non-profit, multidisciplinary research and support center for senior care. It connects academics, Louisville seniors and caregivers, and community-based service organizations to empower, "older adults to flourish by building collaborative community networks of research, education, innovation and practice."
"We are dedicated to bringing about a new vision of aging where individuals and society are able to approach aging as an opportunity, not as a disease," states the Institute's website.
In addition to funding research into senior wellness and senior issues, the Institute spurs innovation, connects seniors and family caregivers to research efforts and resources, and works with providers to ensure they are rendering person-centered, best-practice elder care.
The Institute also presents educational forums in the community (including its Optimal Aging Lecture Series) and will this year host the annual Southeast Association for Area Agencies on Aging (SE4A) Conference.
2. Age-Friendly Louisville
In 2016, Louisville joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, an affiliate of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities & Communities, which is dedicated to helping communities, "prepare for rapid population aging and the parallel trend of urbanization."
As part of its efforts to promote an age-friendly community, the Metro government formed Age-Friendly Louisville, in partnership with the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Authority (KIDPA), AARP Kentucky and the aforementioned Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging.
Age-Friendly Louisville is tasked with building community workgroups that will address issues and solve problems relating to eight aging focus areas:
- Social Participation
- Respect and Social Inclusion
- Communications and Information
- Mobility and Access (including transportation)
- Outdoor Spaces and Buildings
- Community Support and Health Services
- Civic Participation and Employment
Seniors and family caregivers are encouraged to participate by joining one or more workgroups, or to attend workshops that the partnership will present throughout the Metro in the coming year.
3. Kentucky Aging and Disability Resource Center
Do you, or your older loved one, need help to safely age in place, but don't know what services are available to you or how to connect with them? No worries. Kentucky's Aging and Disability Resource Center can assist you.
The ADRC provides information about (and referrals to) programs and services for the elderly and/or disabled. You can contact it by calling 1-877-925-0037.
4. Metro United Way
Louisville's chapter of the United Way can also help seniors and their families connect with a number of assistance programs, safety net benefits and support services, ranging from those that help seniors meet basic needs, to counseling and support groups, to health and wellness programs.
You can search the United Way's online database to find the services you need, or call them on their 24/7 hotline, 2-1-1, for guided assistance.
Use these health aging resources to live happy and healthy in Louisville.
The senior care advocates here at Episcopal Church Home (ECH) want to help you and your loved ones age well and safely, for as long as possible, at home. If, though, aging in place is no longer a feasible or safe option for you, we can help.
ECH is one of Louisville's most trusted providers of short-term physical rehab, residential retirement care and residential memory care.
Click here to learn more about our retirement community. Then, schedule your tour!
We'd love to show you around and let you see the difference that person-centered, dignified care makes in our residents' lives.