As Madison’s aging population grows, the needs of the elderly will exacerbate if left unaddressed, but a local group is hoping to turn the tide.
Tim Pridgen and a small group of citizens are in the initial stages of organizing a support system for Madison’s elderly.
“We’re trying to create an organization to help their healthcare, government, legal and spiritual needs,” Pridgen said. “There’s a tremendous shortage of caregivers.”
The currently unnamed coalition would support anyone in want of living help, spanning across socioeconomic status, race and gender.
“The end goal is to create a 501(c)(3),” he said. This is a common classification for charitable non-profits which are exempt from federal income tax.
“We need to get the word out to the community for whoever is interested,” Pridgen said. “There’s a definite need in Morgan County.”
The coalition would operate like patches on a quilt. There are numerous senior oriented organizations across the county, but they don’t cooperate or communicate, he explained. “It would stitch all these various programs together.”
Churches, local government and members of the community would interact with one another to provide seniors with the resources they require for daily life. One proposed plan would be a senior fair to showcase the preexisting elderly assistance groups.
The biggest challenge for raising the coalition of the ground is finding dedicated members.
“We’re not that far along,” Pridgen said. “The hard thing is finding people that want to get active, not just people who come to listen.”
The group meets on the first Thursday of every month at 5 p.m. at different locations. The next meeting will be held at the Public Safety Complex on August 2.
It will address elder abuse and some other challenges the senior community faces.