Free workshops and programs featuring topics ranging from defining dementias, caregiver support, transitions in care, advanced directives, disaster planning, legal issues, and mental health support are available from the TN Department of Health and The University of Tennessee Chattanoog School of Nursing.

Advance care planning is important for adults at any age. During an emergency or at the end of life, you or your loved ones may not be capable of making decisions about medical care.

For more than 45 years, Mountain T.O.P. (Tennessee Outreach Project) has offered home repair and day camp programs to individuals and families experiencing persistent poverty in Cumberland Mountain counties. As in many rural places, fewer resources exist for older adults and community-wide issues such as food insecurity and health-related emergencies tend to overshadow older adults’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.  
A $20,000 grant from ENCORE Ministry this year helped increase services to that older population.

Sooner or later, everyone endures bereavement — the experience of the death of a loved one. Our emotional response to bereavement is grief, a personal experience whose duration and depth can vary from individual to individual. Some people recover quickly from a loss and move on. Other people grieve intensely for a short period before finding peace while other individuals feel profound grief for years.

With 65 percent of active members older than 65, Millington (Tennessee) First United Methodist Church (FUMC) is a graying congregation. However, the church is located in a diverse neighborhood with a high school, intermediate school, and single-family starter homes. In March, church members began an inter-generational outreach ministry — pickleball for all ages.

Memphis’ St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church received a $7,250 ENCORE Ministry grant to help renovate a storm-damaged room and make it a safe and inviting workout area for senior adults. Church member and community residents use the facility.

The Elder Index, developed by researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, shows that nearly 5 million older women living alone, 2 million older men living alone, and more than 2 million older couples have incomes that make them economically insecure.

Elder abuse affects older people across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races and can occur when they are disconnected from social supports. While older adults may experience the same crimes as other age groups — including financial, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and neglect — they are less likely to report the crime and recover from their victimization.

Helpful checklist ensures health care and financial arrangements are in place before serious illness or health care crisis.