Over 14 percent of the Rhode Island population is 65+, many of which live alone, in poverty, and/or with disabilities. The Rhode Island Department of Elderly Affairs (RIDEA) recognizes the importance of planning for this growing population and produced this four-year state aging plan to meet the requirements of the Older Americans Act.
Like a lot of state plans, the one for Rhode Island has an overarching goal of enabling adults to remain independent with the highest quality of life possible by providing the necessary programs and services to help them do so. The plan does an effective job of laying out the goals, strategies and tactics RIDEA is pursuing in support of older adults in Rhode Island, as well as current programs and services available to help this population. Additionally, it provides interesting information on the older population and their needs.
For instance, the plan points out:
- An interesting component of the Rhode Island demographic is that there are no rural areas in the state; however, many areas throughout the state lack public transportation.
- Based on respondent feedback, top unmet needs for Rhode Island residents include transportation, nutrition, education of the public service programs available, and caregiver support.
- Older adult minority populations are increasing in Rhode Island, particularly African American and Hispanic.
- According to 2009 Census information, approximately 11 percent of all residents have a disability, and approximately 34 percent of those 65+ live with one or more disabilities.
How to Use
This plan clearly states the goals, strategies and tactics, and unlike other plans, also provides performance measures to help with evaluation. This is a great component of the plan that allows community planners and local officials to learn how Rhode Island’s proactive planning efforts met the needs of its older population.
View full report: Rhode Island State Plan on Aging – 2011-2015 (PDF – 10.7 MB)