There are many kinds of need.
When it comes to helping neighbors, some people think only of economic factors. Poverty, after all, is a clear need—without the money to take care of yourself things can get difficult. Sometimes someone else has to step in to lend a hand. This is the foundation of charity, the very essence of community service.
But poverty is just one kind of need. There are other kinds. Illness, for example, can render someone incapable of taking care of themselves. Illness can be as incapacitating as poverty, stronger even, and illness knows no bias. It attacks the wealthy and the destitute, the young and the old. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, if illness strikes acutely it can force the most independent person into a position of need.
Age does the same thing. Like illness, age is without bias. It comes for everyone. The strongest and most independent among us will one day bend to time.
Such inevitability means aging creates its own needs. Age-related mobility is one, something that comes regardless of income or education or social standing. The limitations that force older people to walk slowly, to move with caution and to put down the car keys are universal. If you live to old age, you will experience some or all of these. And to keep living a full life you may find yourself needing some help.
That’s why ITNs are open to everyone. Our model is based on membership, and anyone can join, regardless of income level. If you’re over 60, you’re welcome to become an ITN member. We opted against a platform built around financial need (although our Road Scholarship program offers assistance to those facing financial difficulty) because age-related mobility is everyone’s reality. Regardless of the size of your bank account, age can still leave you trapped in your home. Mobility issues don’t care about net worth, past employment or how well you saved for retirement. The accumulating years eventually land in the lap of everyone, and at some point we will all need that helping hand. One day we lend a hand, the next, we accept it.
That’s why ITNAmerica is here, to ensure age is not an unmet need. We work to ensure age-related mobility is not a reason to become homebound. Age is inevitable. Age-related isolation doesn’t have to be.