Help Support Older Americans Month!
50 years running, the month of May honors older Americans for their contributions to our families, communities and society.
Adults 55 years of age and older represent the fastest growing age segment within our nation, and statistics reveal that many individuals in this underserved population are struggling to get by. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the poverty rate for Americans 65 and older slightly increased from 8.9 percent in 2009 to 9.0 percent in 2010. And, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute , about 70 percent of citizens living below the poverty line have suffered acute health conditions.
As guest blogger, Craig Dirkes revealed in his post, “Baby Boomer Bust: Retired or Homeless,” the number of low-income baby boomers in need is set to explode in the next decade, making The Salvation Army programs for older adults more important than ever.
Across the country, The Salvation Army provides a wide range of programs and services to help improve the quality of life of senior citizens, both physically and spiritually, made possible through support of our donors and volunteers:
Home Visiting Program & Emotional Care
Each year, tens of thousands of nursing home residents and shut-ins receive visits from Salvation Army officers and volunteers! The Community Care Ministries, also known as The League of Mercy, is a volunteer visitation program that provides comfort and companionship to those who are elderly and in need. They even offer to pray with residents about their concerns. Programs like this help combat any loneliness or despair that aging elders might feel.
Housing & Food Programs
The Salvation Army has shelters and food programs that help meet the basic needs of seniors that provide increased physical and emotional security. Food programs include on-site hot lunch programs and meal home delivery for those who are homebound.
The Salvation Army operates dozens of older adult housing complexes across the country with thousands of affordably-priced independent living units for low-income and disabled older adults.
Many individuals choose to live in these communities solely to fulfill their spiritual needs.
Also, many Salvation Army centers offer health care services such as blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol and blood sugar testing, exercise and nutrition classes, and community health fairs.
Educational classes, adult day care, and pre-retirement seminars are just a few of the programs the Army offers to aging Americans. Each center provides a variety of activities to meet diverse needs. Here, in an atmosphere of understanding and respect, new friendships are formed and talents discovered.
Older adults also enjoy the beauty of God’s great outdoors through Salvation Army Senior camps. Clean, comfortable, easy-access camp facilities allow older adults an outing for the weekend or to enjoy week-long programs.
There are a few ways you can help The Salvation Army honor and serve Older Americans.
- Support your local senior programs: Find The Salvation Army near you to donate or volunteer your time: www.SalvationArmyUSA.org.
- Visit www.volunteermatch.org to find local volunteer opportunities, which might include delivering meals to homebound seniors.
- Even the smallest online donation to The Salvation Army helps immensely. Visit https://donate.salvationarmy.usa.org/ to specify your location to ensure your donation is helping senior citizens in your area.
- Do you know someone who might benefit from one of our programs? Please contact your local Salvation Army or call 1-800- SAL-ARMY for specific information about the senior services and programs available in your area.