Older Adults Age in Place
Central Texas has one of the fastest growing aging populations in the country and it is predicted to double over the next 20 years. As we age, we become more vulnerable to chronic conditions and functional disabilities that make it challenging for us to remain safe and independent in our homes and connected to our communities.
Most older adults desire to remain living in their home, and support services are critical in helping them to achieve this goal. To meet the growing demand, St. David’s Foundation is working to foster innovation and increase services that support aging in place at a large scale appropriate for our five-county region.
While St. David’s Foundation is committed to improving the lives of all older adults and their caregivers, we have a specific commitment to those navigating Medicaid, those just over the Medicaid threshold, those living in rural areas, and older adults of color.
In Central Texas, an estimated 48,334 older adults 65+ are living under 200% Federal Poverty Level. While the poorest older adults can qualify for Medicaid, the process of navigating benefits can be complicated, and services are often unavailable.
Additionally, older adults just over the Medicaid threshold do not qualify for assistance and are particularly vulnerable to being left unserved. Older adults living in rural areas are disproportionately affected by having less access to services, limited transportation options, and increased social isolation.
Finally, older adults of color have experienced structural structural inequities that have often led to less wealth accumulation. They also often live in areas with a historical lack of economic and social investment. Therefore, the Foundation is particularly invested in supporting underserved communities of color.
We will move this work forward by activating the following approaches:
- Directly fund services and support the health of organizations providing services.
Programmatic and capacity building grants in six key funding areas:
- Core services for vulnerable homebound older adults;
- Resources and education for family caregivers;
- Adult day health centers;
- Programs that reduce social isolation;
- Palliative care and end of life planning; and
- Workforce development of highly skilled geriatric social workers.
- Beyond grantmaking, work to bring services to scale by
- Building evidence for new models through piloting and evaluating innovative services in Central Texas and demonstrating the “double impact” of intergenerational approaches
- Leading new payment models and public system improvement by advocating to MCOs and legislators on the cost effectiveness of adopting evidence-based services, advocating for increased appropriations for Medicaid services for older adults, and engaging local organizations to advocate for supportive aging policies
- Engage and activate community around aging issues.
Increase support for older adults to live safely and independently in their own community by:
- Helping them to remain safe and independent in their homes as they age;
- Having honorable and improved end of life care;
- Helping them to engage and contribute as a vital part of the community;
- Ensure adequate supply of accessible, high quality services.
Senior Program Officer
When we ask ourselves to think differently and tackle challenges from a new angle, true innovation can come about. We took this principle to heart as we thought through our approach to funding intergenerational programming, and we knew we needed to challenge people to be innovative and think creatively, without barriers.