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2013 Social Innovator Showcase: AgeWell West Roxbury

By March 1, 2013No Comments

Ray Santos, director of community relations for Ethos presents at the Social Innovation Forum Showcase, an annual event where selected social innovators share about their organizations and programs in front of a group of social investors.

AgeWell West Roxbury mobilizes community resources so that seniors can live healthy, full lives “aging in place” in their communities and in their homes. Changing demographics, including the aging of Baby Boomers and longer life expectancies, have created the “Silver Tsunami,” a growing group of seniors facing new and diverse challenges, including the management of complex medical needs, physical and social isolation, and the graying of caregivers themselves. These challenges are forcing otherwise independent seniors out of their homes at a time when alternatives are scarce and expensive.

AgeWell was founded by Ethos, Boston’s oldest community-based elder services nonprofit, in response to the needs of seniors in West Roxbury, which has the largest concentration of older adults in any Boston neighborhood. AgeWell’s innovative, community-based programs offer preventative health education, social engagement, maintenance and home repair, and transportation initiatives to over 2,000 seniors each year, and the program is a model for other communities working to make healthy aging a reality for all seniors, regardless of income, housing, or family circumstances.

Ray Santos knows firsthand how hard it can be to find and coordinate the help families need to provide care for their elderly loved ones. In addition to his personal connection, Ray brings professional experience in marketing, community outreach, and communications to his role at AgeWell.