According to the North Carolina State Demographics Unit, older adults are the fastest growing population in the state. The number of adults over 65 is expected to double from 2000 to 2030. Some rural counties with retirement communities, like Pamlico, have even more elderly residents. The poverty rate for the elderly in many rural areas tops 25%, making them some of our most vulnerable citizens.
Women make up 59% of adults over 65 in North Carolina. That ratio changes dramatically for adults over 85 to an astonishing 72% being female. Roads to Justice offers learning opportunities specifically for women in this demographic so that they may better advocate for themselves.
There are resources out there for senior citizens (such as the Low Income Energy Assistance Program), but as we increasingly shift to a web-based society, folks without computers have increased barriers. Computers and technology presume a level of familiarity and literacy that our many of our elders do not have, some of whom retired before computers were commonplace. Roads to Justice delivers information in person and does not require an Internet connection.
We respect the experiences of the women we serve, and conduct our learning sessions as conversations. We believe more learning occurs when it’s interactive; it gives us a chance to learn from the participants and have a lot more fun!
Some of the workshops and clinics especially relevant to the elderly:
- Consumer protection
- Healthcare and the Law
- Disability Law
- Estate planning
In the future, Roads to Justice plans to add Internet literacy classes to our catalogue, as well as work with tech nonprofits to get more rural North Carolinians online.
It’s our honor to get to know long time residents of rural North Carolina. Stay tuned for news, updates, and the occasional interesting anecdote!