JFS Perspectives

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The Changing Landscape of Service to Older Adults

The Changing Landscape of Service to Older Adults

Every single day, the Senior Solutions team at JFS works to coordinate an array of services to help older adults live as independently as possible for as long as possible. Right now, someone is likely getting their house cleaned by one of our dedicated homemakers. Another client is opening the door to a JFS driver there to drop off a kosher meal. And yet another is talking intently with their care manager about coordinating services to help them remain in their own home for as long as possible. This is merely a snapshot of the many services offered by the Senior Solutions department at JFS. We are honored to provide these and so much more!

As a result of the growth of this population, however, the landscape of services to older adults is changing. By 2050, Colorado's older adult population will double, a demographic change that will impact Colorado’s economy, infrastructure, the age and skills of its workforce, and the social landscape (Colorado Health Institute—Colorado Seniors and Their Health, 2018). Due to this demographic shift, there is an ever-growing need for increased service offerings for older adults, particularly services that support them in maintaining their independence and ability to live in their communities of choice. Through a union of home-based services and community engagement opportunities, JFS continues to implement individualized services and activities to meet the needs of the growing population of older adults that are designed to meet their individual needs, not just those of the “typical senior.”

The increase in demand for service also begs the question, who will pay for it? It is unlikely that private or public funding will be able to keep pace with the rapid growth of the older adult population, so service delivery must also be innovative, efficient, and cost-effective. JFS believes we must work to engage the entire community in meeting the needs of its older adults. We work to engage neighbors and other community members to help our clients. We also utilize volunteers and student interns and understand the importance of supporting family and other caregivers who provide countless hours of assistance to their loved ones.

As we navigate this changing landscape, we are fortunate to have support from a variety of foundations, donors, and government entities that help us provide these vital services and we will continue to pursue partnerships that will allow us to expand service to keep up with demand and achieve our mission of serving those in need.

Chandra MatthewsBy Chandra Matthews, Director of the Jay and Rose Phillips Senior Solutions Center



Chandra Matthews, MSW, is responsible for providing leadership, vision, strategic direction, and program development to all JFS programs serving older adults. Chandra has spent her career dedicated to improving the lives of older adults through direct social work practice, advocacy, and program development and implementation. She is most passionate about ensuring older adults can live their lives with the utmost dignity and respect. Chandra received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Texas Tech University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Denver.