Although we would like to think that the parents and grandparents who’ve helped us build our own lives through their guidance and values, and helped us raise our own children, are now enjoying their golden years, but they are not. They are a part of a growing, vulnerable population called “Elder Orphans”. Statistics show that these grandparents, parents, relatives, and friends are living alone in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, without a solid support system.
Although some of these older adults may have family, 60 percent of them are still spending birthdays and holidays alone. They are isolated, depressed, and at risk of cognitive decline and abuse. The TMF provides a comprehensive support program providing social interaction, supportive environments, and companionship to the vulnerable elderly population living in nursing homes.
Our mission is to provide them with supportive relationships throughout the year. The Adopt-An-Elder Program volunteers provide much-needed companionship and social interaction for those residents who have no family or visitors. Our volunteers assist them with reading, eating, can dine with them, and other forms of entertainment on a consistent basis.
Statistics show that someone turning 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long term care and support services in their remaining years. The Institute of Aging states that “50% of elderly who have no family available to care for them, are in nursing homes”.According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 50% of nursing home residents have no close relatives, and 46% have no living children. An estimated 60% of nursing home residents never have visitors.
Sadly, 40% of nursing home residents have reported abuse. More than 90% report that they or another resident of the facility have been neglected. Consider the additional risks of this forgotten population, who are growing old alone, within these facilities:
- Cognitive Degeneration
The 2016 Georgia Health News report “Georgia has more than 1 million people 65 or older, which is 10% of the state’s residents”. These figures are forecasted to increase over the coming years. By 2030 there will be unprecedented demographic changes, as the national population of people 65+ is expected to dramatically increase by more than 50% in 25 states; this population in Georgia is expected to increase by 61%. This means they will outnumber their caregivers by 4:1.