For the first time in history, adults 65 and older are the fastest-growing population group, soon to outnumber children. This population shift brings both opportunities and challenges. While circumstances may differ, all elders aspire to age with health and dignity.
Everyone deserves to live a healthy life, at every age. To ensure equity across the lifespan, we must prepare for the economic and social shifts associated with an aging population.
Yet, our society remains silent about the many fundamental implications of aging in America. We do not treat older people as equals, and we pay little attention to the plight of those furthest from access and opportunity. Elders — especially elders of color – face barriers in accessing the care they need and suffer health disparities that impact their quality of life. A lifetime of inequity — whether racial, economic, or gender-based — is compounded in old age. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed structural disparities and unmet needs facing older adults.
By fostering solutions to pressing health and social problems from isolation to caregiving, Metta Fund works in partnership across sectors to create better outcomes for older people. We believe that everyone deserves to thrive, no matter their age. Our equity-centered, intersectional approach includes grant funding, capacity building, advocacy & communications, leadership, and deep community and funder partnerships.
We are advancing health and equity in aging through investments in two focus areas:
Our country’s aging population is driving a growing demand for family and professional caregivers – a trend that is expected to continue through the next several decades and beyond.
Metta Fund recognizes that both paid and professional caregivers play a central role in our health and wellness as we age; the need to support caregivers as the cornerstone of society will become more and more important in the years to come.
Close connections and social relationships are integral to our health and wellbeing. Ageism, life transitions, and changes in health can lead to social isolation and loneliness, particularly in older adults. Research shows that its effects on human health and wellbeing are harmful, compromising both physical and mental health.
In 2017, Metta Fund made a 10-year commitment to reducing isolation and loneliness via interventions and programs that strengthen meaningful social connections in later life.