seniorsWhat resources do you believe are most important to support vulnerable seniors in Northern Nevada? What would the ideal set of senior services look and feel like to you and your family?  These are the questions being posed to residents as Washoe County prepares its master plan for senior services.  The county will be accepting input and suggestions through Open Washoe County, an online program for citizen input and feedback, through the end of July.

Residents who would like to participate can log on to the Open Washoe County website  or text the word SUBSCRIBE to (775) 835-4540 for the free service. Through the system, individuals can make comments, suggestions and read what other community members are saying about senior services and other important issues.

There are currently 76,000 people over the age of 60 living in Washoe County.  By 2020 that number is expected to rise to 100,000 with an estimated population of 130,000 by 2030. The numbers of older residents living alone, living at or near the poverty level and those who are home bound or frail are growing just as rapidly. Seniors home alone are often challenged to complete basic activities for daily living including: eating, bathing, taking prescriptions, cooking, paying bills, shopping for living essentials and dressing.

The Washoe County Department of Senior Services helps 5,500 people per year, which is less than eight percent of the total senior population in the community. The county’s goal is to reach 20 percent. Critical services provided by the county help seniors with living essentials and include: in-home care, home delivered meals, in-home medication and support management, legal services, and day care for seniors with disabilities or dementia. Often these services are the only support available for these seniors and their families.

Information courtesy of Washoe County Department of Senior Services

photo: istockphoto.com/CEFutcher

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