The growing 65+ demographic in Tennessee is expected to increase from 18.9 percent of the population in 2009 to 22.6 percent of the population in 2020. The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD) prepared this plan to meet the requirement of the Older Americans Act, as well as to provide a framework for an organized and comprehensive system to support the older population. The plan included components that focus on long-term care, health promotion, prevention, elder rights, and an array of community services.
TCAD organized this plan after contracting with the University of Tennessee College of Social Work to conduct a statewide comprehensive needs assessment study. The research uncovered that the growing older adult population would like to age in place for as long as possible, which has led Tennessee to focus on home and community-based services as the norm rather than the exception. For this reason, amongst others, Tennessee is rebalancing its long-term care system.
Other plan highlights include:
- In 2006, it was estimated that there were 336,160 non-institutionalized Tennesseans age 65+ with a disability. There is an expected decline in the 2005 to 2020 disability rate for Tennessee.
- Tennessee ranked 11th in terms of the decline in household income.
- In 2000, 357,3000 Tennesseans lived in rural areas of the state.
- Some of the top services of importance for the aging population were rural transportation, adult day care, adult foster home, respite for caregivers, walkable communities, and home repairs and modifications.
Based on the data discovered through the research, Tennessee organized the plan, and the specific goals of the plan, around the needs of minority, low-income, low-income/minority, and rural populations. The goals addressed include increasing accessibility of services, as well as service options, and focusing on the maintenance of healthy lifestyles and the prevention of chronic health conditions.
How to Use
This plan serves as a good example for community leaders and planners looking to focus aging efforts on targeted segments of the older population. It clearly defines the demographic needs of the population and focuses its goals, objectives and strategies around meeting these needs.
View full report: Tennessee State Plan on Aging – 2009-2013 (PDF – 1.6 MB)