Booming boomers As aging population increases so does the need for senior services

Published 6:28 pm Friday, December 23, 2016

As the baby boomer generation starts to age, the number of senior citizens in Danville-Boyle County will continue to increase and become a larger part of the population. 

The topic of a rising population of senior citizens in Danville-Boyle County was an aspect that was discussed in a presentation given by RKG Associates Inc. earlier this month. RKG representatives Kyle Talente and Lauren Callaghan returned to Danville to present their initial marketing findings in Boyle County they discovered during their first visit in early October.

Callaghan reported that “over the last 16 years, there’s been a growth of people in the area who are 55 and older and there is a decline in those who are between 35 and 54.” 

According to RKG, the total number of citizens age 55 to 64 is 2,172, and the total number of citizens who are 65 and older is 3,507.

These numbers are projected to rise overtime due to the rising age of baby boomers, according to Callaghan. 

As the number of senior citizens continues to rise in Danville-Boyle County, the number of senior citizens who attend events, activities and meals at the Boyle County Senior Center will also continue to rise. 

“We are seeing an increase in numbers,” Executive Director Ben Guerrant said. “We are seeing an increase of services for a variety of reasons.” 

One of the reasons he mentioned was because of the increasing demographic of senior citizens in Boyle County. 

Guerrant said on average, there are about 24 to 30 senior citizens who attend the congregate senior programming daily. During field trips, the senior center will take more than 30, he said. 

Along with daily activities, the center also provides a nutritional meal on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. From Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, the senior center has provided 5,845 meals for senior citizens ages 65 and older, Guerrant said. 

“I think that is a remarkable number,” Guerrant said. He added that this is amazing number considering they are a non-profit and have budget issues. 

The senior center also provides transportation for those who can’t drive and have no other means of getting around. Transportation includes trips to the doctor, pharmacy, grocery store, the bank and other places, according to Guerrant. 

From Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, the senior center has provided transportation for 4,715 senior citizens, according to Guerrant. 

“The demand is only going to increase,” he said. “As the boomers’ generation continues to age, those numbers are only going to go up.” 

Along with the senior center, the senior citizen residential community Morning Pointe is already looking ahead at the possible of an increase in their numbers. 

Since their opening in September, Morning Pointe is already half way full, she said. 

Morning Pointe has a total of 60 apartments. There are 44 in the personal care area, and there are 16 located in The Lantern, which is the Alzheimer’s care unit. 

Right now, Keller said there are 12 residents in the Alzheimer’s care and 26 residents in personal care. 

With the rising number of senior citizens, Executive Director Lisa Keller said their goal is to have a waiting list of residents who want to live there.