Local Aging Experts Brace for 'Silver Tsunami'

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

The country's baby boomers are close to retirement.

Aging experts are bracing for what some are calling the 'Silver Tsunami,' when the population of senior citizens skyrockets.

Already, 20 percent of Marathon County's population is elderly. But in a few years, that number is expected to grow substantially.

"What they're anticipating as we go along is there's going to be more and more of a population needing services that might not necessarily be in place now, but they're working towards," said Peggy Kurth, a health educator with the Marathon Co. Aging and Disability Resource Center.

The center offers help and resources to those who are no longer spring chickens. The goal is to keep seniors living independently.

"I like to be on my own. I have my grandkids come when I want and my children too... we have picnics there, there's room enough for that," said Violet Vaughn, 80, who lives in a mobile home in Schofield.

Kurth agrees that the desire to remain independent and in your own home is universal.

"I think that's pretty much what anybody wants," she siad.

Many seniors need help with things like mowing their lawn, but aging baby boomers may need even more.

"I think the focus is going to be more on staying healthy, staying active, getting involved in more kinds of programs," said Kurth.

A current growing need for seniors is help with transportation.

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