Iowa ranks first in the nation for those age 75+ living in nursing facilities and second in the nation for those age 65+ living in nursing facilities (page 37). In preparation for this aging demographic, the Iowa Department on Aging created and submitted its state age plan per the requirements of the Older Americans Act.
Due to Iowa’s challenges in the wake of several natural disasters, there is a heightened urgency for efficient disaster recovery (pages 27-29). The current emphasis on nursing facilities in combination with an increasing older population factors into Iowa’s state plan as well, especially considering the impact it has on everything from evacuation plans to aging in place initiatives.
Other plan highlights include:
- Iowa’s State Plan reflects the recent string of natural disasters, exposing the need for better communication between departments, staffing needs, and evacuation plans.
- The plan outlines services that are needed but are not provided due to a lack of funding (page 36). One of compelling components of the plan is a listing of how many people are affected by the lack of a service due to lack of funds. This is a simple and elegant use of “cause and effect” as it relates to age plans.
- Since Iowa has one of the largest older populations living in nursing care facilities, they face particularly difficult challenges in implementing initiatives for aging in place.
Iowa’s plan reflects how opportunity can come from catastrophe. The recent string of natural disasters in the state helped demonstrate immediate opportunities for improving their system and for obtaining funding.
How to Use
Consider planning a “mock emergency” to demonstrate flaws in your own system and areas for improvement that will aid in local planning. Outcomes include the capacity to fix issues prior to any actual unforeseen disaster in your own area. Getting services to older people when they need them most should be the top priority for any given locality.
View full report: Iowa State Plan on Aging – 2010-2013 (PDF – 2.8 MB)