FRAMINGHAM: Framingham’s Callahan Center needs more, not fewer, resources to honor its mission and improve the healthy aging of the 55 and older population of our community.
A tidal wave of aging Baby Boomers and increasing longevity have caused rapid growth in the 55+ population nationally and in Framingham, requiring more staff and programs and more, not less, space.
According the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Department, Framingham’s 55+ population rose from 16,230 in 2010 to 20,050 in 2017, a gain of 3,820 people or 23.5%.
Meanwhile Framingham’s total population rose from 67,340 in 2010 to 71,230 in 2017, a gain of 5.8%.
Between 2010 and 2017 Framingham’s 55+ population grew at a rate FOUR times faster than the total population did. The over 55+ population will continue to rise as this 2017 data does not include 2018-19 increases.
In 2017 1 out of every 4 Framingham residents, or 28% of our population, was 55+, up from 24% in 2010.
Our city must recognize our surging 55+ population and plan for more infrastructure, staff, and programs, not less.
With its excellent professional staff and myriad volunteers, the Callahan Center is a home for seniors. It offers a wide variety of social and personal programs: fitness strength and yoga, cultural programs, transportation, trips, discussion groups, computer literacy, medical equipment lending and fuel assistance, etc.
For those facing difficult life challenges, the Callahan Center Social Services Department becomes a critical lifeline assisting individuals, and support groups for Bereavement, Grandparents, Caregivers, Better Breathers, etc. Personally, as caretakers for an elderly relative with Alzheimer’s, we are so grateful for the assistance of the Callahan Center and its social workers.
As the 55+ group increases in numbers, so does the need to provide more professional staff and support for seniors and their caretakers.
Our Callahan Center cannot spare one inch of space nor face any program cuts. There is no room for the Health Department.
Maureen Dunne, M.B.A.
Note: My husband Patrick Dunne serves as a member of the Friends of Callahan Board.