Candidate Point of View: Lane Chesley

Southern Kenai Peninsula senior population on the rise and requires health care focus

For countless years, as Alaskans aged, many made plans to relocate to the Lower 48 to be near family or favorable climate for the final years of their lives. And for many of us who came to Alaska in our youth, we returned to the Lower 48 to help care for our aging family members through their end of life. Now with the expansion of senior services and housing in our community, I know of many examples of an aging parent or parents who relocated to Homer to spend their final years with established family here.

The aging population trends of the Southern Kenai Peninsula indicate that we have a “Gray Wave” building in the coming years. This senior population trend has been identified by the South Peninsula Hospital Community Health Needs Assessment (abbreviated as CHNA and pronounced as “CHINA”) as part of the local MAPP Coalition (Mobilization for Action Through Planning and Partnership). MAPP is described as “a coalition of numerous partnering agencies working together to improve community health.” This document can be found at https://www.sphosp.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2019-2020_SPH_CHNA_FINAL.pdf .

The following chart and table document the projections of senior citizen age classes as they move from the year 2020 through 2045. As we see the rising curves of senior populations, we are going to see an expanding need for heath care services and housing options to support these seniors which would allow them to stay on the southern Kenai Peninsula. We want our seniors to stay in their homes among their families as long as possible. This is called “Aging in Place” and has been identified as one of the most significant factors contributing to senior long term health.

As Borough assemblyman for District 8, I will work with the mayor, assembly, Central Peninsula Hospital, South Peninsula Hospital and numerous partnering agencies to develop strategies and resources which will allow our seniors to Age in Place. We want our seniors here among us, as long as possible, with the resources to age with dignity and make all our lives richer with their legacies.

Lane Chesley is a long-time Homer resident who has served on local boards and governing bodies. He is running for the District 8 seat on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly to represent Homer.

More in Opinion

Alaska House District 31 candidate Kelly Cooper. (Photo by Tim Steinberg)
Candidate Point of View: Kelly Cooper

I want to take a moment and set aside all the noise… Continue reading

Rep. Sarah Vance (R-Homer) poses for a photo on June 12, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Hannah Vance)
Candidate Point of View: Sarah Vance

Dear Friends, Election Day is almost here. Buttons, flags, road signs, flyers,… Continue reading

Michael O'Meara's cartoon for the Oct. 22, 2020, issue.
Letters to the Editor

Thoughts from readers like you

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska Chief Medical Officer. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services)
Point of View: Why all Alaskans should join me in getting a flu shot this year

During pandemic, getting a flu shot is more important than ever

The Homer Foundation logo.
Point of View: Pay It Forward through educational opportunities

I spent much of my life working in universities and colleges. I… Continue reading

Michael O'Meara's cartoon for Oct. 15, 2020.
Letters to the Editor

Thoughts from readers like you

Michael O'Meara's cartoon for Oct. 8, 2020.
Letters to the Editor

Thoughts from readers like you

Hal Shepherd in an undated photo taken near Homer, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Hal Shepherd.)
Point of View: Is sacrificing ANWR worth it?

There are alternatives to sacrificing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain

Xochitl Lopez-Ayala stands in front of the Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic booth at Pride 2019 on June 22, 2019, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Xochitl Lopez-Ayala)
Point of View: Reproductive justice is also immigrant justice

The Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic Board recognizes that reproductive justice is… Continue reading

Most Read