In Washtenaw County, the 65-plus population is expected to double—from 43,000 to 92,000—over the next three decades. The aging population requires that we work to ensure that all of the county’s seniors, regardless of race, gender, or economic status, have access to the services they need for healthy aging?
In 2015, the Washtenaw Health Initiative assessed the range and availability of senior services across Washtenaw County to determine if the county was ready for the pending age wave. An Advance Care Planning Group was also formed to help to ensure that the end-of-life wishes of seniors are known and respected. The group developed several resources to help individuals and providers have conversations about end-of-life care.
Today, the WHI’s senior service work is housed under the Healthy Aging Collaborative, funded by both the WHI and Area Agency on Aging 1-B. The cross-sector collaborative will develop a county-wide healthy aging strategy and promote age-friendly practices. Each of the collaborative’s members will be an organizing force around specific service areas or domains, such as equity, caregiving, faith communities, housing, nutrition, and more. Domain leaders may also form sub-groups to better coordinate work within specific service areas.