Mayors in St. Louis Region Show Their Respect for Senior Citizens

March 22, 2009

Ideas about aging and care of the elderly are very culturally specific things, are they not?

retirementlane-main_fullIn the USA, where independence and individuality are part of our national character, studies show that the vast majority of senior citizens here desire to “age in place.” This means they wish to stay in their communities near family and friends and to stay in their own homes living independently for as long as possible. Some opt to “downsize” by moving into a smaller home, once their children are grown, and some may move into retirement communities, where they have options for a continuum of care that range from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing care on the same campus.

Most, however, do not live their last years in nursing homes, according to the stereotype of aging in the USA. Neither do most live with their grown children late in their lives, as has been the tradition in China, although that arrangement is not entirely out of the question in the US. Today, in both countries, however, ideas about privacy and personal space  may make it less desirable to have multi-generational households.

meaaa-top_tittleThere is a network of Agencies on Aging throughout the USA that provides information and assistance on a wide range of issues for our elders. The Mid-East Area Agency on Aging (MEAAA) serves four counties in the St. Louis region, and one of their programs delivers a nutritionally balanced mid-day meal to participants. These seniors may be disabled, or homebound in the short term due to illness, injury or recovering from a stay in the hospital.

Mayors for Meals 2009

Mayors for Meals 2009

The meals are prepared in a commercial kitchen and delivered by a roster of dedicated volunteers. Often the meal is the primary nutrition for the participant, if they live alone and are unable to shop and prepare their own food. Often the volunteer is the only person the participant will see during the day, and so this program feeds the body and spirit.

mayors-for-mealsEach year MEAAA works with area Mayors to get them involved in the meal delivery process. Here is a link to photos from “MEAAA Mayors for Meals 2009.”

Here is a link to the Web site for MEAAA, with information on their programs and services assisting adults through the journey of aging.

Here is a link to the Web site from the State of Missouri on the origins of the Agencies on Aging across the United States. If you have not heard of the Agencies on Aging, please take the time to learn about them and never hesitate call on them to assist your family as your elder members require services to remain independent for as long as they desire. There is an Agency on Aging to serve every area of the USA.

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