Community-driven reporting on people & programs solving Alaska’s problems

Aging in Alaska is both challenging and wonderful. The state's rapidly growing population of people who are 65 and older are strengthening their communities by contributing time and wisdom, and building the economy. On the next Talk of Alaska we'll hear from elders about what it's like to grow older here and what needs to happen to make that more feasible and fun. Listen Here

In the 1970s and early 80s people flooded Alaska looking for work in the oil industry and other fields. Now, 40 years later, many are still here. Instead of fleeing to warmer weather, Alaskans are aging in Alaska. For the past seven years, we’ve had the fastest growing senior population in the country. With it comes wisdom, economic growth, and a different set of needs. Can our state handle it?

As senior populations grow throughout Southeast Alaska, what kind of impact do they have on the economy? According to experts, it’s a good one. A state report on Alaska’s aging population said seniors contributed an estimated $2.4 billion to the economy in 2014. That comes mostly from retirement income, health-care spending and wages. As part of CoastAlaska’s Aging Southeast series, KHNS’s Emily Files takes a look at the senior economy from Haines. Download Audio

Health care and housing options are limited for seniors in Southeast, but a few adult day programs are offering relief for care providers, families and friends. They’re often a stop-gap solution until space opens up in a home. Download Audio

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