Between 2010 and 2015, Oregon’s older population is expected to increase by over 140,000, and by 2020 one in five Oregon residents is predicted to be over 60. Additionally, this population will be more diverse racially, ethnically, and culturally. The Oregon Department of Human Services’ Seniors and People with Disabilities Division prepared this state plan to meet the requirement of the Older Americans Act, and to further their mission to “help people become independent, healthy and safe.” The plan simply provides all of the required information on goals, strategies and tactics currently underway that fulfill the necessary obligations, without really delving into the uniqueness of Oregon’s diverse older population and how to specifically focus initiatives around them.
The plan emphasizes the role the older adult population currently has and will continue to have both socially and economically in communities across Oregon, and the challenges incurred by the recession that impact resources needed to meet the demands of this growing population. It specifically focuses on how the growing senior population will challenge Oregon’s capacity to provide the necessary services. Not surprisingly, most older Oregonians want to age in place for as long as possible, and about 25 percent of this population currently needs help with activities of daily living. While Oregon has been a leader in providing home and community services, there are still challenges to meet the needs of the growing senior population.
The plan does an effective job of laying out the goals, strategies and tactics Oregon is pursuing in support of older adults, including assessing the needs of older adults to ensure that they have access to quality services wherever they live in Oregon, increasing the overall health of the 60+ population, encouraging community involvement, and ensuring the rights of older people and prevent their abuse, neglect and exploitation.
How to Use
While this standard State Plan on Aging provides information on how Oregon plans to service the needs of its older adult population, it does not offer specific insights into how the differences of the older adult population in Oregon can and should determine how Oregon can best meet their specific 60+ population needs. Planners and local government officials can use this plan to gain an understanding of Oregon’s planning efforts intended to meet the service needs of its older population, but should probably look at other state plans for more examples of addressing specific needs.
View full report: Oregon State Plan on Aging – 2009-2013 (PDF – 1 MB)