Idaho is keeping seniors and attracting hordes more.
More than any other state in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
While thatís not going to do a whole lot for the downtown Coeur díAlene nightclub scene, it brings far more positives than negatives.
Itís true that as a group, our 65 and older elders are going to place higher demand on health care providers and perhaps emergency services. Those on the lower end of the economic scale are going to need more help not just with medical issues, but with basics like food, clothing and shelter. As todayís front-page story by Keith Cousins painfully points out, thereís far more need for senior affordable housing in our area than there is supply, and the number of free meals provided by senior centers is rapidly going in the wrong direction.
So yes, many of our seniors need a little support from the communities they helped build when they were younger.
On the other hand, and itís a substantial one, many seniors are moving here because our area is more affordable than most, our health care is superb ó especially for a relatively low population area ó and Kootenai County has plenty to offer in overall quality of life.
From beautiful libraries and parks to plenty of fine dining and cozy coffee corners, seniors have access to amenities greater than our population might suggest. With the exception of snowbirds who flock southward when the chill winds blow, recent senior arrivals do what tourists donít: They help keep our retail businesses open during shoulder and off seasons. Many pay plenty of property taxes, and itís a one-way street because they donít tap city and county services like many younger individuals and families do. And full disclosure: Seniors happen to love community newspapers. And theyíre not afraid to get involved locally, even when itís only through the Opinions page.
In short, our seniors are a blessing.
Please treat them that way.