Forsyth County’s senior population is growing

Forsyth County's senior population is growing


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Forsyth County’s senior population is growing, and some resource centers are seeing an increase in demand from the community and are strained by the influx. 

 

What You Need To Know

John Woodmansee is a home repair volunteer for the Shepherd Center. He says he’s seen an increase in calls over the last year that can be hard to keep up with, especially for the transportation service

The Area Agency on Aging reports one in four Forsyth County residents will be 60 years old or older by 2036 

Residents 65 years or older account for more than 16% of the population in Forsyth County, according to the U.S. Census

 

John Woodmansee is a volunteer for the Shepherd Center, a senior resource center located in Winston-Salem. At 90 years old, Woodmansee still visits homes where he installs grab bars, fixes washing machines and completes other home repairs.

He first started home improvement as a child in suburban Chicago. 

“For almost my whole life, it’s been a wonderful experience being able to step in to somebody’s life with my tools and my limited experience. We can do something and get something fixed, make it work again,” Woodmansee said. 

Woodmansee says he’s noticed an increase in home repair requests in recent months, spread throughout a team of 25 volunteers.

The Shepherd Center received more than 300 home repair requests last year and nearly 20,000 service requests overall. They saw that number grow in 2021 as more seniors became more comfortable allowing visitors into their homes. 

“I think we get more calls. The more work we do, the word spreads, people talk,” Woodmansee said. 

With a team of 300 volunteers, the Shepherd Center has seen the most growth in demand for transportation services, but they don’t have enough resources to meet the need. 

This is expected to grow as the senior population within Forsyth County grows.

According to the U.S. Census, residents 65 years old and older account for more than 16% of the county’s population. The Area Agency on Aging reports one in four residents will be 60 years or older by 2036. 

Volunteers like Woodmansee are hard to come by, but the Shepherd Center is looking for more assistance, specifically for their transportation services program.

For more information about the Shepherd Center, click here



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