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Memphis Daily News
Addressing the Needs of Memphis’ Aging Population
April 20, 2015
By Dr. Mary C. McDonald

It is certain, absolutely everyone is doing it. Everyone is aging. The uniqueness of the individual process has created the new tipping point for the separation of the way it was, and the way it will be.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “I could not, at any age, be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on.”

That option is still available; however, it does not seem to be the preferred choice of those further along in the aging process. The tsunami of baby boomers created a multitude of businesses, products and services in response to their needs and interests as they traveled through the ages and stages of their lives.
Now, their most significant emerging needs center on the issue of aging – for themselves, with their parents and their families. Their issues and needs are multifaceted, multigenerational and provide a multitude of opportunities in addressing them.

From my own experience in addressing the needs of my parents, who until their mid-90s lived in their home, I learned how family-centered those next-step living decisions are and how significant the role of the adult children is in assisting their parents in making them. And, as is the case in many families, I was living a thousand miles away from my parents, experiencing that long-distance concern so common in a very mobile society.

From that experience came a business that my husband, Joe, and I started several months ago, called Senior Care Placements Services, to assist seniors and their families in making those decisions less stressful by providing the needs assessments, information and viable options at no cost to seniors.

While both he and I continue with our own businesses, we wanted together to use our knowledge and skills to assist other families making those tough decisions, and serve as a hub for gathering and disseminating information, providing guidance and assisting families in choosing independent, assisted living and memory care communities, as well as in-home care services and other ancillary services.

As the population ages, there will be an even greater need for more businesses, services and living options to respond to the emerging needs that will address not only the longevity of life, but also the quality of life. Memphis is a city that has traditionally been entrepreneurial in its response to the needs of its citizens, and the issues and needs associated with aging are rapidly emerging.

It is always a good investment of time to learn about what resources are available in our community that promote the quality of life for all citizens. With that in mind, The Professional Network on Aging is sponsoring the Senior Expo, a metro-Memphis premier event that attracts thousands of area seniors and their families each year. This year, the event will be held at Bellevue Baptist Church on May 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Expo provides an opportunity to learn more about those who provide services, programs, goods and facilities to a rapidly growing senior market.

Contact Dr. Mary C. McDonald, a national education consultant, at 574-2956 or visit
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