A Louisville-based nonprofit focused on fostering innovation to help older Louisvillians live and age well will hold its grand opening ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at 204 E. Market St.
The Thrive Center, which has received support from corporations including Kindred Healthcare, PharMerica and Apple, and local and state governments, aims to hosts innovators from local businesses, academia, government and local residents to collaborate and “transform the quality of life and quality of care” for older citizens.
Thrive Center CEO and Executive Director Sheri Rose told Insider Wednesday that she envisioned the facility as anything from a collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs to a living laboratory for local schools to an education center for the public at large.
More than 46 million Americans were at least 65 years old in 2014, and that population is expected to more than double by 2060, according to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. About 6.2 million Americans were at least 85 years old in 2014, and that figure is expected to more than triple by 2060.
Rose told Insider that students from Bellarmine, for example, are using part of the 7,500-square-foot facility for physical therapy training. On opening day, 16 digital displays will provide information related to dementia, the center’s initial theme, which will change every few months. The center also will provide information about topics such as music therapy to help aging clients and will offer a virtual reality experience that will inform visitors about what it’s like to have dementia or macular degeneration.
Rose said she expected the center to also help clients overcome their reluctance to use new technology. With donated tablet computers, for example, the Thrive Center hopes to help clients get comfortable using Skype and other software to enable them to better stay in touch with their loved ones.
The center has received $320,000 from the city of Louisville and $860,000 from the state, in addition to support from local, national and international companies. Founding sponsor companies include Louisville-based health care companies Kindred Healthcare, Signature Healthcare and PharMerica. The center also has alliances with the Health Enterprises Network, the University of Louisville and the Ireland Smart Ageing Exchange.