GAMBIER — The face of rural America is changing: It’s getting older. What that means to places like Knox County and how they can respond was the topic of the latest “Community Conversation at Kenyon College Tuesday.
Moderated by Howard Sacks, director of the Rural Life Center, the panel feature Diane Ramey from the Area Agency on Aging; Paul Higgins, a semi-retired chef who chose to settle in Knox County when he retired; and Judy Wainscott, a founder of Help at Home, a volunteer organization in Gambier that helps seniors continue to live independently at home.
In greeting the 25 or 30 people who attended the session, Sacks explained that as the Baby Boomer generation retires, more are choosing to retire to rural areas like Knox County, while at the same time young people are choosing to leave. That results in an aging population, with different needs and different pressures than local society faced in the past.
Since 2000, the median age of the local population has grown from 36.5 to 38.3, he said.