Catherine Taylor, Director of Rhode Island's Division of Elderly Affairs, joined us in our studio earlier to help us kick off our series, The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island. You'll find a link to listen to that interview below.
She also sent us these thoughts about how Rhode Island seniors can break out of isolation and find help.
Perhaps the greatest misconception people have about aging is that, sooner or later, we all end up in a nursing home. In fact, most of us will never need such an intensive level of care. The core mission of the Division of Elderly Affairs is to preserve the independence and dignity of Rhode Island’s elders and adults with disabilities, through community-based programs and supports that keep them informed, safe, healthy and independent – and OUT of nursing homes, whenever possible and appropriate.
I’ll add that we have to be careful what we mean by independence, because a certain amount of interdependence is essential to health and happiness. Isolation is one of the worst public health problems facing us as we age. One third of older Rhode Islanders live alone, and are at risk for loneliness and all of its attendant ills – depression, addiction, frailty and falls.
To find out about the continuum of services to help people age how and where they choose – home modifications, homemaker services, meals, volunteer opportunities, senior companions, health and prescription drug insurance, legal assistance, respite for family caregivers, adult day services, assisted living – call THE POINT, Rhode Island’s Aging and Disability Resource Center at 401-462-4444. We’re eager to answer your questions about aging, and dispel any misconceptions you might have about growing older.
- Catherine Taylor, Director, Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs
Explore our series, The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island.