Lutheran Services in America said Thursday that it will expand its rural aging initiative into more states to help older adults experiencing social isolation and difficulty accessing services and supports to successfully age at home.
The effort, which includes senior living communities, is made possible by funding from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.
So far, 4,000 underserved and isolated older adults and their caregivers in more than 100 rural communities have benefited from the work this grant supports, according to the organization. The expansion will allow Lutheran Services in America to serve seniors in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Christopher Findlay, senior manager of marketing and communications at Washington, D.C.-based Lutheran Services in America, told McKnight’s that three of the organizations benefiting from the effort — St. John’s United, Immanuel Lutheran Communities, and Missouri Slopare — are continuing care retirement communities. Two of the beneficiaries of the rural aging initiative, Lutheran Social Services Minnesota and Lutheran Social Services South Dakota, are community-based organizations.
“This investment in our work capitalizes on the collective knowledge, expertise and established trust and presence of our network organizations in rural communities and — together, through this collaboration — create a stronger community of care for rural aging,” Charlotte Haberaecker, president and CEO of Lutheran Services in America, said in a statement.
The three-year grant leverages the long-standing commitment and community presence of Lutheran social ministries in rural communities, according to Lutheran Services in America. More than 4,000 underserved and isolated older adults and their caregivers in more than 100 rural communities have benefited from the work supported by the grant, the company said.
The launch of the initiative coincides with the release of the video “Lived Voices: Aging in Rural America,” meant to amplify the personal stories of strength and resilience of older adults and caregivers aging in rural America. The video is accompanied by the report “Lived Voices: Aging in Rural America – Cultivating a Thriving Community of Care,” which highlights the findings of a qualitative research study of older adults and caregivers in rural communities that was commissioned by Lutheran Services in America and conducted by ATI Advisory.