Business Profile
  • South Central Wisconsin
  • September 2013
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Supporting Active Independent Lives (SAIL)

Did you know that ten thousand people per day began turning 65 as of 2012? By the middle of this century, 20 percent of the population of the United States will be a person of at least 65 years of age and one in ten will be at least 90 years of age.

“Basically, people are living longer, and a lot of people were born in the last hundred years,” says Ann Albert, executive director of Supporting Active Independent Lives (SAIL), a Dane County nonprofit dedicated to helping area seniors live their best lives possible. “The huge, post-WWII population surge is retiring now, healthier, more intellectually engaged and with an unprecedented life expectancy above eighty years of age. We’re here to help older adults remain healthy, socially connected and, if it’s what they want, in their own homes.”

Today, SAIL serves over 850 seniors in Dane County through its membership program and its personal emergency response service. The organization provides a number of great benefits to their members, including: workshops, classes, social events and volunteer opportunities; personalized wellness coaching, medication reviews and check-in services; access to a broad range of pre-screened service providers; and home-delivered technology support.

“In real terms, a seventy-year-old today is likely to be ‘younger’ than a sixty-year-old of twenty years ago,” explains Ann. “These men and women are smart and active, and they’re invested in staying that way. They aren’t interested in people taking care of them or making decisions for them, and they enjoy the new reality of the modern senior. However, there’s no roadmap for this unprecedented experience. SAIL not only provides resources, but we also provide support in helping Dane County seniors create their own resources, and actually become resources for each other and the community. It many ways, it’s simply a network of people working together to navigate a new path and, often, we simply facilitate their efforts.”

“Yet, as our members get older, or face illness, widowhood or even loneliness, we act as a safety net and a helpmate. We continue to expand our strong system of volunteerism and outreach within our membership, too. I get the greatest satisfaction knowing we are helping seniors help each other.”

SAIL is also an active part of a national network of community organizations concerned with similar issues, commonly referred to as the Village to Village Network and recently featured on PBS NewsHour. As one of the first established village concept communities in the nation, SAIL has served in a variety of leadership and mentorship roles since the movement’s inception.

“We continually hear from members that the greatest things we provide are a sense of community and peace of mind, which are priceless. Like the village that raises a child, SAIL is helping seniors work together to design lives of purpose and dignity.”

To learn more about SAIL, call 608-230-4321 or visit

Live life on your own terms with SAIL!



home repairs | wellness social connectionspersonal security | volunteerism

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