Facebook Pixel PageView Image

Impact

THE REALITY

With 12,000 individuals turning 60 each day, the United States senior population is rapidly increasing.  By 2030,1 in 5 Americans will be 65 or older which is more than 70 million Americans, twice the number in 2000.

American are living longer, life expectancy is around 79 years old which means they will have more time to battle issues like, hunger, isolation, illness, and dependence.

ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGE 

Since 1973, Aging Ahead has been supporting individuals to remain healthier and independent by offering quality programs, services, and resources. We will be able to continue to support individuals through the journey of aging because of our dedicated partners, sponsors, donors, advocates, volunteers and staff.

OUR IMPACT
  • To help older adults maintain better health through good nutrition, Aging Ahead served 155,503 meals to 2,859 persons in 2017 at our community locations in St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin and Jefferson counties.
  • Aging Ahead delivers over 2,600 meals daily to home bound adults in 110 different zip codes.
  • Our Community Option Specialists assist approximately 1,000 individuals each month with aging related questions about services, caregiving and, assistance.
  • The Choice program has recently expanded into Franklin County through a partnership with Frick’s Super Market allowing an additional 261 adults to order lunch from the deli three days a week.
  • As a result of our community outreach program, we reached 15,520 people through aging presentations and information tables in 2017.
  • Volunteers donated 117,901 hours of service through such programs as home-delivered meals, meetings, exercise instruction and various community location activities in 2017.
  • The annual Christmas Day Meal Project brings a hot meal, gifts and good cheer to more than 350 adults who are home alone on the holiday.
IMPACTING THE COMMUNITY

Aging Ahead understands storytelling is a vital component of our mission in supporting individuals through the journey of aging. Stories can help educate and inspire all of us to think and act differently. Stories connect us in a unique way by having the ability to touch our hearts in a manner that encourages engagement.   

Aging Ahead is excited to introduce our new story sharing platform, The Heart of the Matter. Each month, we will share a story with our boards, staff, volunteers and supporters to help illustrate the impact of our programs and services in the communities we serve. 

Retired life has not been a walk in the park for Nicholas P. In spite of this, he continues to push on with the help of Aging Ahead.

Nicholas P, a diabetic, experienced major health issues a few years ago, resulting in the inability to work. Without the means of reliable transportation, Mr. P found himself home-bound at the age of 65. He was referred to Aging Ahead and began receiving Meals on Wheels and enrolled in our Commodity Box program, a program in which he receives a monthly supply of non-perishable food. Throughout this time, Mr. P continued to suffer financially with cost of living, medical bills, and necessary home repairs he was unable to complete.

During a routine home assessment, Kathy Craig, an Aging Ahead Community Options Specialist, listened to Mr. P’s story, and informed him about qualifying programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). 

Kathy also referred Nicholas to other resources for free home repairs. Mr. P plans to use Aging Ahead’s short-term care to assist him around his home after an upcoming foot surgery.  As Kathy left, Mr. P exclaimed, “you can’t know how much I appreciate what you all do. The word that’s missing so much in the world right now is compassion, and you all have so much of it. Thank you.”

Support Highlights: Meals on Wheels, Community Options Services, SNAP, LIHEAP, and Short-Term Care.

Life has been a little easier for Evelyn since she started receiving meal deliveries last year from Aging Ahead.

Evelyn is legally blind and lives alone. With her disability, she is unable to drive and has a difficult time preparing food for herself. Last year, a neighbor suggested that Evelyn call Aging Ahead in order to receive Meals on Wheels, and she hasn’t looked back since. “Aging Ahead is the best thing that’s happened to me. Without the meals, it would be so much harder to get good nutrition.”

Evelyn will celebrate her 90th birthday in December, and more than anything, she wishes to remain living at home for as long as possible. After being asked how Aging Ahead has impacted her life, Evelyn said, “I’m scared to death of losing my independence here. Because of the meals, I’m able to care for myself better.” Living independently is something that Evelyn is passionate about.  

As someone who supported and raised two children alone, Evelyn knows hard work and struggle intimately, however, she says she’s living a lucky life, “I don’t have much, but I have love and I have hope.” She explained that love and hope have driven her in all of her years, and she’s grateful for life’s “little breaks.” She expressed that Aging Ahead provides one of those breaks in a massive way by reinforcing her independence.

Support Highlights: Meals on Wheels, Wellness Checks, and Annual Assessment.

After John suffered a stroke, he was admitted into a skilled nursing facility. His caregiver team did not believe he would thrive outside of the facility. Feeling overwhelmed and suffering from severe depression, John didn’t know where to turn to reclaim his life and finances as his own until a friend referred him to Aging Ahead as a trusted resource to help. Susan Richmeyer, an Aging Ahead Community Options Specialist, became John’s case manager. For almost two years, Susan and John worked closely together on getting John moved back into the community with a space of his own to call home.

John utilized the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, which supports an individual’s transition from a skilled nursing facility back into the community. Throughout the process, John credited Susan for being his advocate. “Susan listened to me and came up with a plan on how to pull myself out of the facility. I was ready, but I needed guidance,” said John.

When asked what his life would be like if he had not been referred to Aging Ahead for support, John confidently exclaimed, “I would be living on the street. Susan and [Aging Ahead] saved me. I truly believe that. Now, I literally have a new lease on life!” With the support of Susan and Aging Ahead, John was able to move into an apartment, and in doing so, he has fully immersed himself into his community!

John identifies as a gay man, which he says has presented its own isolation challenges, but through everything, he has been able to persevere and create his own supportive community. John has become extremely involved within his parish, and volunteers his time as a lector, a choir member, and works their food pantry twice a week. John also dedicates his time to education by teaching weekly GED classes.

John’s hardships have yet to stop him from succeeding. “John is one of the bravest people I know, and he worked so hard to be where he is today. He is a very special person, and he deserves so much happiness in life,” Susan imparted when discussing John’s inspiring story.

Support Highlights: Money Follows the Person (Nursing Home Transition) and Options Consulting (including 12-Month Post-Transition Support).

SHARE YOUR STORY

Aging Ahead loves to share the results of our efforts to support those we serve on their journeys to remain independent!  Even more so, we love to learn about the impact our programs and services have had on your life or the life of a loved one.  Please click here to make our day by providing your story and don’t forget to keep an eye on our blog to learn more about our ongoing impact in your community.  Thank you!

“If not for the kindness and generosity of Aging Ahead and their volunteers, I would be hungry. Aging Ahead gives me the peace of mind, knowing I will have a nutritious, good, filling meals every day.”—James K.