For many years, there has been a clear issue in the city of Detroit – there is an increasing number of older adults with chronic illness and no sign in sight of increasing resources to fit their needs. The Detroit Area Agency on Aging and Wayne State University Medical School teamed up to examine the death rate demographics in Detroit in comparison to surrounding cities and the evidence was quite shocking. The article states, “the death rate is 122% higher for people ages 50-59 in Detroit and the neighboring suburbs in comparison to those of the same age in the rest of Michigan.” One of the driving factors behind this statistic is the poor quality of life for many. With unhealthy living conditions in homes and little access to affordable resources to fix these issues, many homeowners are not living in a safe space.
An even more shocking figure in the article shows “the average life expectancy of Midtown Detroit residents is 69, which is 13 years shorter than residents of the Grosse Pointe area, a few miles away.” How can there be such a gap in the health of these city’s residents with just a few miles separation? To take a closer look into this, about one in five older adults in Metro Detroit live in poverty, more than double the state rate. Comparing this to Grosse Pointe where the poverty rate is only around 6%, below the state rate, you can see the difference in the ability to access resources needed to live a fully healthy life therefore extending the life expectancy rate.
Seeing how prevalent these issues are reminds us of the need for more organizations to exist to provide necessary resources to the many that never receive them. While Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan tries to reach as far and wide as we can to provide maximum service, we are still very limited in our own resources. However, we try to take this information and use it in determining who and where there is the greatest need for service. In our home repair efforts in 2019, 46% of the homes we worked on had at least one older adult resident. Moving forward, we remain dedicated to seek out this population and we are always looking for outreach opportunities to expand our abilities so that we are truly working to live out our mission. Repairing homes, Revitalizing communities, Rebuilding lives.
To read the full article this information was drawn from, click the link below: