Nearly nine out of 10 older adults want to remain in their home as they age. Addressing the unique challenges associated with independent living as an older adult is a core part of the Lutheran Services in America network’s work to support one in 50 Americans, especially older adults in low-income, rural communities.
St. John’s United in Billings, Montana, created its “At Home” program to help address key social determinants of health for older adults living within its community. People living in rural communities often experience high levels of social isolation and loneliness as they age. The impact of social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the problem.[i] “At Home” seeks to remedy this significant issue by bringing independent older adults together in a supportive environment designed to help residents make the most of their retirement years.
The “At Home” program is an extension of the organization’s larger focus on supporting older adults with home-based care. St. John’s United is part of the Great Plains Senior Services Collaborative, a Lutheran Services in America initiative that expands community-based services to improve the health and quality of life for low-income seniors in rural communities across Montana, as well as North Dakota and Minnesota. Together, St. John’s United and Lutheran Services in America support people who struggle with limited resources, isolated settings and social determinants of health such as inadequate transportation and home maintenance.
St. John’s United is a member of Lutheran Services in America, a network of 300 health and human service organizations located in more than 1,400 communities across the United States. Together, the network makes a difference in the lives of one in 50 Americans every year.
By Christopher Findlay, Senior Marketing Manager
[i] Davis, Michael R. “Pandemic Has Created Loneliness Epidemic, New Report Show.” AARP. October 8, 2020. https://www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/info-2020/isolation-survey-coronavirus.html.