Even more troubling, dwindling budgets in a tight economy have pushed communities to cut spending on delivering meals to the homebound and shuttling folks who can no longer drive to grocery stores and doctor’s offices.
These cuts, advocates for older Americans say, are coming when the services are needed more than ever. And those needs will grow tremendously over the next two decades.
The nation’s population of those 65 and older will double between 2000 and 2030, according to the federal Administration on Aging. That adds up to one out of every five Americans — 72.1 million people.
Six years ago, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging said less than half of cities it surveyed at the time were preparing to deal with the needs of older folks. It said the results “should serve as a wake-up call for communities to begin planning now.”