Delaware is facing the “fifth highest net migration rate in the country for persons aged 55-74” (page 7). By 2020, a full quarter of all Delawareans will be 60 or older. In preparation for this aging demographic, the Delaware Health and Social Services Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities created and submitted its state age plan per the requirements of the Older Americans Act.
The plan focuses on the need to have an integrated information system by which to coordinate all data points by ongoing and burgeoning programs, as well as, the impact of in-migration on aging.
Other plan highlights include:
- Delaware has a massive influx of migration but no automated data and collection system to keep track of them (page 10).
- The plan emphasizes Delaware’s examination of “universal design” and its implications for an aging demographic (page 12).
- Delaware includes performance measures (page 19-20) in its state plan, lending the plan greater credibility and reliability in moving ahead.
Delaware has two great strengths in this plan that are worth noting: 1) the serious approach to universal design and its implications on aging in place, and 2) realistic performance measures that indicate what Delaware does well and what it does poorly. The benchmark of great planning begins with honest assessment. This includes the frank assessment of a need for a system of efficiently gathering data.
How to Use
The best use of funding for local governments may be on up-to-date, efficient infrastructure like computer systems. Planning then not only includes a diversity of programs and lines of supervision, but also access points and shared information across those programs or departments. The ultimate outcome of this is felt in an aging demographic, who if moving to a different city within a region, should not have to remember and coordinate the transition of services to themselves. The capacity for automation within informational service infrastructure can be hugely beneficial to becoming age ready.
View full report: Delaware State Plan on Aging – 2008-2012 (PDF – 621 KB)