In order to fully grasp the enormity of the challenges faced by our aging population, it is helpful to review relevant statistics as determined by the CDC and the Mayor’s Council on Aging.
One third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely, and one fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated.
Social isolation significantly increased a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.
Social isolation was associated with about a 50% increased risk of dementia.
Poor social relationships (characterized by social isolation or loneliness) was associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke.
Loneliness was associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.
Loneliness among heart failure patients was associated with a nearly 4 times increased risk of death, 68% increased risk of hospitalization, and 57% increased risk of emergency department visits.
(from April, 2021)
Source: Mayor's Commission on Aging
(Data taken from 2015 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample IPUMS-USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org)
There are 1.6 M people in Philadelphia of which 24% (about 379,000) are 55 and older. Of those 379,000 people:
- 53% are 65 and older
- 23% are 75 and older
- 7% are 85 and older
- 19% Live below poverty level
- 64% Not in labor force
- 12% Not fluent in English
- 20% Less than high school
- 15% Foreign born
- 39% Have one or more disability
Percent of elderly reporting difficulty with:
- 14% Cognitive
- 27% Ambulatory
- 19% Independent Living
- 12% Self-care
- 8% Vision
- 8% Hearing
There are 298,000 households where an elder is the head of household of those 298,000 households:
- 26% pay rent
- 38% are elders who live alone
- 23% have a Food Stamp recipient in household
- 69% live in a home built in 1950 or earlier
(from Nov. 2016)
Our mission, to support and enhance the quality of life of vulnerable and underserved older adults residing in Philadelphia County, addresses grim statistics such as these. Through our grant programs, we fund organizations designed to service the aging population.