gearAging

The Pittsburgh Jewish community makes a substantial investment in helping seniors maintain quality of life, maximize independence, and participate in community activities. Our responsibility as a community is to provide an easily accessible, high-quality, complete continuum of care for our seniors. As life expectancy increases, the need for services for the elderly becomes increasingly important.

In 2002 (last date for which we have estimates), there were 9,400 Jewish seniors (65 years or older) in our community of which 5,300 were 75 and over.

Summary Metrics

  2015 2014  2013 Net Change (most recent year from previous year) Percentage Change (most recent year from previous year)
Approximate number of seniors who utilized aging services of the Jewish community  9,500 9,200 7,500 300 3.2%
Approximate number of seniors who utilized services of the Jewish community in the form of wellness classes, socialization activities, cultural activities, or nutritional activities 7,200 6,600 5,000 600 9.1%
Number of seniors who utilized services of the Jewish community in the form of information & referral services, care coordination by Care Managers, and ElderAlert emergency response system 1,730 2,000 1,900 (270) (13.5%)
Number of seniors who resided in a senior complex under Jewish auspices 470 500 500 0 0%
Number of people who were in hospice care under Jewish auspices 115 106 106 9 8.5%
Approximate percentage of all residents living in a senior complex under Jewish auspices who are Jewish 70% 70% 71% 0 0%
Number of people treated in an outpatient rehabilitation complex under Jewish auspices 902 732 868 170 23.2%
Approximate percentage of seniors who utilized one of the Jewish community’s aging services and who had one or more emergency room visits 24% 20% 24% 4% 20%)
Approximate percentage of seniors who utilized one of the Jewish community’s aging services and who had one or more hospital admissions 26% 21% 26% 5% 23.9%
Approximate percentage of seniors who utilized one of the Jewish community’s aging services and who had a nursing home admission 9% 6% 10% 3% 50%
Approximate percentage of seniors who were admitted to a short-term rehabilitation facility who were discharged back to home or prior level of care 77% 71% 64% 7% 10.9%
Number of seniors who utilized home health care from a Jewish agency 1,462 1,394 822 68 4.9%
Number of guardianship clients through a Jewish agency 137 131 123 6 4.6%

  • In the last decade the number of seniors 85 and older has increased. In 2012, 35,000 seniors were 85 or older, a 25% increase from the prior decade, according to the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging.

    In 2002, two out of three Jewish seniors reported that their health was good or excellent.  Even among seniors 85 and over, most reported good or excellent health. In Pittsburgh, as elsewhere, the primary safety net for seniors is provided by adult children. In 2002, about half of all seniors had an adult child in the Pittsburgh area; about 2,500 seniors lived alone.

    The system for caring for people in the later stages of life under Jewish communal organizations is growing (up 22.8% since 2013). While this number includes services provided to Jews as well as to many other seniors in Pittsburgh, over 80% of those living in a residential senior complex under Jewish auspices are Jewish.

    Growth was recorded in the number of seniors who utilized home health services from a Jewish agency, growing by more than 69% between 2013 and 2014.

  • The rates of emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and of seniors who were admitted to a short term rehabilitation facility and discharged back to home or prior level of care are all lower under Jewish auspices than against the regional Medicare benchmarks.

Organizations that participated in this study include: AgeWell Pittsburghthe Jewish Association on Agingthe Jewish Community Center,  Jewish Family & Children’s Service, and Riverview Towers.