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  • Human Services

    Aging Well in Our Communities: The Economic Benefits and Implications


    On Thursday, May 15th, ninety of Jefferson County’s leaders gathered to talk about the aging population and its impact on our communities. Keynote speaker, Dr. Greg Owen, Senior Research Manager, Wilder Research, offered data and ideas around making a senior friendly community.

    According to Dr. Owen, approximately 137 people retire everyday in Jefferson County. Many of these residents, who are 65 years and older, offer countless hours of volunteer time, and are the largest consumer group in the U.S. and account for nearly one-third of all healthcare spending. However, there is a huge disparity between those who have money and those who don’t. The average net worth for married couples in the top 20% of incomes is $1,500,000. The average net worth for singles in the bottom 20% of distribution is $0 or in debt. Nearly one-third of baby boomers have less than $25,000 in savings. Because seniors in general account for one-third of all health care spending, seniors with little of their own resources will put a larger burden on public resources of all kinds.

    According to Greg, a senior friendly community includes a variety of housing options along with adequate transportation and services. Holistic healthcare that gives adequate attention to caregivers and a sufficient tax base and infrastructure are also important. Attendees were asked whether or not there were ongoing discussions among service, commercial, and political interests in how aging is affecting Jefferson County and if the property tax structure continues to work in light of the growth in the senior population. He mentioned the senior services tax available in most Ohio counties.

    The event, held at St. Anthony Hospital, was hosted by Jefferson County’s Aging Well Project along with County Commissioners, Griffin, Rosier and Tighe and Mayor Murphy, City of Lakewood and Mayor Jay, City of Wheatridge. Sponsors include Aging Well Project, InnovAge, AARP, Jefferson County Council on Aging and Jefferson Center for Mental Health. To continue this conversation in Jefferson County, please consider joining the Aging Well Project. Contact Susan Franklin or call 303-271-4051.


    June 3, 2014


    Last Updated: 6-3-2014