Tucson Electric Power’s financial support of a new healthy aging center will help the “silver tsunami” of local baby boomers remain healthy, active and independent.
About 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day. To help people live better as they live longer, the Pima Council on Aging (PCOA) is creating a community hub where older adults can access programs, services and resources.
The new Katie Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center, 600 S. Country Club Road, will officially open Nov. 18. Dusenberry, a former TEP board member, has been a longtime advocate for seniors and healthy aging.
TEP is contributing $50,000 a year for three years in corporate resources to support the centrally-located center, which will have far more capacity to provide programming than PCOA’s existing east side location.
The TEP Community Resource Room will serve as the heart of the new 16,000 square-foot center, which will offer information and activities related to wellness, fall prevention, nutrition, finances, social connections, Medicare counseling and more.
“Supporting our elders by providing a central place where they can learn, socialize and receive the help they need for independence and quality of life strengthens our entire community,” said Dave Hutchens, TEP President and CEO. “PCOA has done tremendous work to create an age-friendly facility, and we look forward to our ongoing collaboration.”
When PCOA was founded in 1967, people were living just a few years past traditional retirement age. Today, it is not uncommon for people to live 30 years longer or more. As a result, said PCOA President and CEO W. Mark Clark, people are looking for activity, community engagement, socialization, and a sense purpose to bring meaning to those additional years.
Clark noted that TEP has been a longstanding partner on a number of initiatives, from donating night lights in support of fall prevention efforts to printing at no cost much of the informational materials PCOA distributes.
“When we started asking our community to support our vision for a Healthy Aging Center, TEP was one of the first and largest commitments we received,” Clark recalled.
“We can’t say enough thanks to TEP for its leadership and early commitment to our campaign, which is making this all possible. Together, we can make this community an exceptional place to age well.”
Tucson and Pima County are among the fastest-aging areas in the nation. According to U.S. Census data, Tucson in 2016 had the third-oldest population of all major metro areas in the nation.