I had a chance to talk to about 80 people from around Todd County over lunch at the Clarissa Ballroom on Wednesday. They were there because it was the annual recognition of people who volunteer in a great variety of ways to help with the elderly in the county.
When you take away the formal and expensive structure of nursing homes, assisted living residencies, sophisticated health care, Medicare and Medicaid, the people in that room represent the informal networks that go a long way to keeping people in their homes as they get older. These were the meal preparers, the volunteer drivers, the organizers of senior centers that offer services.
And there were a lot of heads nodding when, as I explained MPR News’ reporting efforts, I noted that a huge share of elderly care is provided by women between 45 and 64 and that the population of those needing care tends to be those over 85.
Right now in Todd County there are 5 1/2 women between 45 and 64 for every one person over 85. In 25 years, there will be 3 1/2 women that age for each oldster. Check out that fact and other Todd County data we just posted on our Todd County page.