By 2020, Maine will be the oldest state in the nation when measured by median age, second only to Florida (page 8). In preparation for this aging demographic, the Office of Elder Services created and submitted its state age plan per the requirements of the Older Americans Act.
Most projections indicate older Americans will not relocate somewhere warm for their older years, but will opt to age in place. Maine is a case study of this theory and is highly pro-active in trying to accommodate the needs of an aging demographic.
Other plan highlights include:
- Maine has made substantial progress in reducing the need of nursing facilities (page 5).
- Maine developed a projected model in conjunction with the Lewin Group, a national health and human services consultant, that they feel enables them to best allocate resources in advance of trends specific to Maine (page 8).
- “Maine is the oldest state in the nation when measured by median age, and it’s a population that has a higher rate of poverty than the U.S. and New England average” (page 4).
- In 2005, over a tenth of Maine’s 65+ population lived below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) (page 9). As Maine continues to age rapidly, so too, will the number of older adults living under the poverty level.
Maine’s State Plan on Aging cites ample infrastructure for the challenges ahead. This enables it to focus on how to provide care to a majority of its aging constituency that cannot afford to pay for care.
How to Use
Maine is wrestling with how to provide for an older population living below the poverty level. Seeking outside help has allowed them to leverage good infrastructure to make services readily available in the future. Local governments and planners should use this plan as a resource when determining the age-readiness of their own localities and the services they will offer those who can least afford them.
View full report: Maine State Plan on Aging – 2008-2012 (PDF – 340 KB)