Aging, a Spectrum

Our communities are blessed to have many older residents who have lived extraordinary, productive lives, but now may need some help. Accessing health care, avoiding isolation, coping with rising costs on a fixed income, grappling with a loss of mobility and transportation issues — these are some of the problems facing an aging population. But here’s a remarkable truth: Many young people in our communities face the same problems. Building stronger social support for older residents benefits us all. My years on the board of the Harwich Junior Theatre have taught me the great value of bringing generations together, be it on stage, in a classroom, or in an assisted living facility. Specific programs like real estate tax abatements for elderly on fixed income need to be promoted. State government must partner with our strong local social service network to offer help when it’s needed, and find ways to bridge gaps between old and young. Mentoring, sharing knowledge and experience across generations, should be encouraged.