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March 11, 2015


Contact: Carol Harmon, The Columbus Foundation,, 614/251-4000

Report Highlights Strategies To Impact Senior Wellness In Central Ohio

Connecting seniors to services and fostering collaboration between programs is key as population grows

Columbus, OH (March 11, 2015)–Meeting the Challenges of an Aging Population with Success, a new report commissioned by The Columbus Foundation and the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations, reveals the current and projected needs of seniors while identifying key opportunities for improving their quality of life. 

The research of senior populations was conducted by the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the College of Social Work at The Ohio State University.

“By 2040, the number of seniors in Franklin County will double,” said Lisa S. Courtice, Ph.D., executive vice president for Community Research and Grants Management at The Columbus Foundation. “This work is effective in helping prepare our community as we anticipate the needs of our aging population.” This research is informative and will increase awareness of the strategies needed to support our aging population.”

With 117,099 people over the age of 65, Franklin County has the second-highest number of seniors among all Ohio counties.  Projection data from the Ohio Department of Development indicates that Franklin County’s 65-and-over population will grow to 224,340 by the year 2040.

Key findings from the report indicate that improved coordination between the complex web of federal, state, county, and municipal resources would have significant impact on seniors’ health and quality of life. The report also includes an analysis of the most vulnerable seniors in Franklin County identified at the neighborhood level.

“There is a 20-year difference in life expectancy across Zip Codes in Franklin County, indicating there is a gap in longevity among people living only a few miles apart,” Terri Donlin Huesman, vice president, Osteopathic Heritage Foundations said. “The impact of poverty and the corresponding lack of access to quality healthcare and education need to be addressed to improve the lives of all seniors in our community.”

“While Franklin County has a robust network for supporting seniors, it can be challenging to get plugged in and to navigate the system once connected. A primary reason for commissioning this research is to ensure that the community has the most current data available to help inform their strategies for serving seniors,” Courtice said.

Read the full report and executive summary.


About The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to more than 2,000 individuals, families, businesses, and communities that have created unique funds to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Serving the region for 70 years, The Columbus Foundation is the seventh largest community foundation in the United States. The Foundation’s online giving marketplace, PowerPhilanthropy®, makes it possible for everyone to access valuable information about nonprofit organizations in central Ohio.

About The Osteopathic Heritage Foundation

The Osteopathic Heritage Foundation and Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville (the Foundations) support community health and quality of life programs in central and southeast Ohio, as well as advancing, on a national level, osteopathic medical care, biomedical research, and osteopathic medical education. The mission of the Foundations is to improve health and quality of life through education, research, and service consistent with the principles of osteopathic medical care. For more information about the Foundations, visit