Housing problems are a reality for seniors in Omaha
In case you missed it, we were included in Sunday’s Public Pulse in the Omaha World-Herald. Here is a link to the piece as it appeared in the newspaper. Below is the extended version we submitted.
June 20, 2021:
It’s no secret that the Omaha area has a housing shortage. Some call it a “hot market” and say they’ve never before
seen so many people competing for the same property at the same time, causing prices to skyrocket.
Aging adults with low to moderate incomes often struggle to find housing. Few housing options are available for seniors on a fixed income, and what is affordable is often not accessible to those with mobility issues or far from family or a support network. Compounding the housing crisis among Omaha’s older adults is the deepening isolation and food insecurity the pandemic has caused.
Seniors benefit from a complete community so they can age in place comfortably. And while many communities provide assistance to older adults by providing basic needs, they fall short of being a complete community.
An answer to this issue is senior living communities that identify specific needs and challenges facing older adults and create solutions to address them. These amenities must be available to all, not just people who happen to live in their buildings. At Notre Dame Housing, we provide a more complete community by organizing activities and services for local seniors inside and outside our walls – someone who enhances the quality of life and is a resource to the larger senior community.
To build on this life enhancement concept, Notre Dame Housings’ Seven Oaks Senior Center will reopen to serve the entire senior community in Omaha with a new enrichment center. Here, the life enrichment coordinator listens to local seniors and NDH residents to understand their needs, and then works with partner organizations to provide opportunities for them to learn, interact and grow. This concept fills many gaps in service, including combating senior isolation.
Working with community partners, the life enrichment coordinator is able to offer programs such as navigating technology, cooking on a limited budget as well as offering events featuring dental services, walker adjustments or other basic lifestyle needs that could go overlooked elsewhere. With access to these services, older adults can age in place within a complete community and without moving from their home.
The senior center also offers a food pantry five times each month for anyone needing assistance, no questions asked. The demand for this service has been extremely high and was made greater with the onset of COVID-19.
Notre Dame Housing is proud of our commitment to combat the senior housing crisis, isolation and food insecurity. Overall success for the community comes when people are able to age in place.