People are living longer lives and there are larger proportions of older people. In fact, two-thirds of all the people who have ever lived past the age of 65 in the entire history of the world are alive today!
On average, a person living to age 65 will live another 18-20 years and a person living to age 85 will live another 6-7 years. And data demonstrates each future generation will continue to live longer.
That’s why Embracing Aging works to ensure people have opportunities to try new things, explore possibilities, and connect with the things they need and want for the best quality life possible, now and in the future.
Two Ways We Accomplish This Are:
- Grants for Organizations Serving People Age 50 and Older
Since its launch in fall 2013, YCCF’s Hahn Home Fund has awarded $2.1 million in funding to support York County’s older residents!
A grant to Servants Inc., a nonprofit based in Red Lion, for their Home Helps Program, helped repair or modify the homes of older homeowners with financial need. This helps homeowners to remain living independently and safely in their homes. The home repairs are done by a group of volunteers, who are primarily over the age of 50, and led by a Home Helps Manager. The volunteers embrace the opportunity to apply their skills and life lessons to help neighbors in need, while learning new talents and creating relationships with peers. In addition to completing the repairs, staff and volunteers nurture relationships with the homeowners, by bringing packed lunches and sharing meals and conversation with the homeowners. It’s a good a reminder to the owners that someone cares about their safety and well-being. Servants also connects the homeowners with other area services, like financial counseling programs, to help them stay safely in their own homes.
A grant to Crispus Attucks’ Senior Community Service Employment Program supported a brand-new initiative: Second Career Service Entrepreneurial Project. The program assisted low-income adults aged 55 and older who were interested in learning new skills and securing employment. The program was designed to serve as an incubator for participants to receive training and support to start their own small business. Participants worked collaboratively to develop a written business plan in their individual fields of interest, which included painting, construction, accounting, and culinary arts. Participants also included a description of their proposed business, a proposed sale, a marketing strategy, financial needs, profit potential, and licensure needs, etc. To provide a background on business trends in York, participants received a copy of the Urban Entrepreneur Initiative Survey Results conducted by SCORE and the Crispus Attucks Center for Employment and Training. Participants meet bi-weekly to discuss progress on their business plan, check the status of their budget, to network, and discuss educational opportunities.
- TroveStreet – A Resource To Help Adults Proactively Improve Their Aging Experience
TroveStreet is a one-of-a-kind treasure trove of guidance, experiences, and inspiration where York County residents can plan for their best life – now and in the future. Its website and interactive services provide valuable information on topics related to Home & Place, Transportation, Healthy Living, Joy & Meaning, and Money Matters to help you, no matter your age, plan for changing needs and desires as you grow older.
Created in partnership with YCCF, TroveStreet was conceived to function like a loyal friend offering advice on a range of concerns. It also combats stereotypes and stigmas surrounding aging.
At the heart of TroveStreet is Cathy Bollinger, Embracing Aging’s managing director. She brings over 30 years’ experience as a strategic thinker, facilitator and innovative problem-solver in both for-profit and nonprofit settings. Cathy works with community stakeholders to improve how people perceive and experience aging.
Driven by her passion to eliminate ageism and provide everyone the resources they need to have the best life possible as they grow older, Cathy’s vision for TroveStreet is a result of needs she saw in her home community of York County, PA. As a highly engaged native, Cathy, who also serves as the Executive Director for TroveStreet, has a deep knowledge of the resources available for older adults in our community.
“We have been taught to think of aging as something bad or ugly, something to be feared,” says Cathy. “But when you think about the alternative to growing older — who doesn’t want to live a long, healthy life? TroveStreet is about reframing the narrative about growing older and what it means to us.”
Before launching TroveStreet in March, YCCF did its homework. It connected with an aging population in York County hungry to learn more about options for living, saving money for retirement, and embracing positive body image as they age.
About 40 percent of York County residents are age 50 or older, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. YCCF’s work on senior housing with the York County Planning Commission revealed that more than half of municipalities in the county lack regulations that can help older adults stay in their current homes and communities, yet the majority, 83 percent of those over 50, live in houses they own.
York County could be facing a housing crunch down the line. The research shows the county has a shortage of affordable rental communities for older adults, and waitlists can stretch out to two to four years. The county also lacks personal care homes for low-income families.
TroveStreet provides a place to find information about all these things and more. “One of the things we knew from a study we’d commissioned was that up until now, there was no centralized place where county residents could go and learn about the things that will make aging easier,” Cathy notes.
In her role as managing director of Embracing Aging, Cathy was part of events that presented information on aging in place. She and the YCCF team noted a huge appetite for hands-on advice vs. the infrastructure and policy support offered by Embracing Aging. That eventually led to the introduction of TroveStreet.
She says that YCCF traditionally hasn’t offered services, so it first tried to facilitate grant funding to other organizations to take the service model and run with it. Eventually, however, the team realized it had the vision and the opportunity to launch TroveStreet itself.