Then & Now: The Business of Aging

There was a time not so long ago when the business of aging was a family matter. Caring for aging loved ones was a task left to the family. Just a few generations ago, an older adult would be cared for by family members, often women, who would step in to provide the care and services needed. There were few nursing homes, no assisted living centers, no continuing care facilities, and no memory care units. Families were pretty much on their own.

Today, thanks in part to the Baby Boom generation (10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day—and will until 2030), there are more services than ever to support families who are caring for elderly loved ones. That’s a good thing. According to the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, by the year 2030, the senior population of Sumner County will grow by 38 percent, accounting for one in five residents in the area. When it comes to providing services for seniors and their families, Gallatin is richly blessed.

 

Gallatin Senior Council Roundtable

In this group, formed by the Mayor of Gallatin, more than a dozen representatives from the public sector along with professionals from ministry, healthcare, senior services, and nonprofits meet to develop community-based solutions that will improve seniors’ everyday lives. The Gallatin Senior Council Roundtable is currently working to designate Gallatin as an Age-Friendly City, part of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

 

Senior-Focused Support Services

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Gallatin boasts a growing network of support dedicated to improving the lives of older adults. Two of the most prominent groups, Community Life Bridge and SilverSolutions, help connect seniors, family caregivers, and the professionals who support them to appropriate services and resources. Both organizations were founded by Robin Williams, a local healthcare entrepreneur who has launched several businesses dedicated to addressing the unmet needs of the area’s oldest residents. Another well-known local program, The Veranda Ministries, is a congregational respite program meeting the social, spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of older adults with Alzheimer's Disease, dementia, or other debilitating medical issues.

 

Senior Housing

Gallatin offers many comfortable and attractive residential options for seniors, including relaxed independent living communities, skilled nursing facilities, and everything in between. If someone you know is looking for a place to call home, excellent options include McKendree Lambuth Retirement Community, Lenox Place Condominiums, The Waters of Gallatin, Brookdale Gallatin Assisted Living, The Capstone at Station Camp, Park Place in Hendersonville, Morningside of Gallatin, NHC Place Sumner, Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing, and Hickory Hills Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Hendersonville.

 

Elder Care Law

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Jake Mason of Mason & Associates

Aging, chronic illness, and disability raise difficult questions. Fortunately, two firms in the Gallatin area are well equipped to help families find the answers. Mason & Associates provides estate planning, elder law, business planning, and probate services. Founder Jake Mason, the only dual-certified attorney in estate planning and elder law in Tennessee and Kentucky, has extensive experience in the areas of special needs law, special needs trusts, and disability trusts.

 

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The team at Takacs McGinnis Elder Care Law

Takacs McGinnis Elder Care Law provides estate planning, elder law, Medicaid and VA benefits planning, asset protection, Medicare counseling, and Life Care Planning, a unique specialty of elder law that bundles those services with elder care coordination to provide guidance to families during every step of the long-term care journey. The firm’s founding partner, Certified Elder Law Attorney Tim Takacs, is the architect of this innovative approach to elder law, which is now practiced by hundreds of firms across the country.

 

Transportation

For seniors who no longer drive, getting around can be a challenge. Fortunately, Community Life Bridge sponsors a program called Community Life Ride, an affordable, assisted ride service that pairs seniors who need transportation with volunteers who can provide it. Community Life Ride currently provides rides to seniors in Hendersonville and Gallatin.

 

Service Directories

Connecting to the services you need is a simple matter in Gallatin. The SilverLink directory (SilverLinkCares.com) is a portal that offers up-to-the-minute access to providers of products, services, housing, and advice for seniors. Search for listings that fit your criteria, see ratings and reviews, and take facility tours—all online. The City of Gallatin also offers a service directory just for seniors. Access it here.   

 

Fitness

Older adults who want to stay in shape will find plenty of options in Gallatin. In addition to the city’s beautiful parks and tree lined greenways, the Gallatin Civic Center offers classes just for seniors, including Silver Sneakers, a health and fitness program that provides gym access and fitness classes for older adults, and Silver and Fit, a fitness program designed specifically for senior citizens. The Gallatin Civic Center is a hub of activity for people ages 65 and older, offering monthly luncheons for seniors participating in the fitness programs. Jazzercise offers a low-impact fitness class for seniors every Tuesday and Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at Unlimited Potential Community Development Corp., part of First Baptist Winchester. Seniors interested in working out with equipment will love the fitness facility at Unlimited Potential. Access bikes, treadmills, and every workout machine you can think of for low fees that you’ll love if you’re on a fixed income.

 

Funeral Homes

In Gallatin, families can choose from several professionals skilled at offering support and services when a loved one dies. Alexander Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Anderson Funeral Home, Crestview Funeral Home, Memory Gardens & Cremation, Family Heritage Funeral Home, Johnson & Coleman Funeral Home, and Sumner Funeral & Cremation are all good choices.