A 2010 survey of AARP Vermont members 50+ concluded that 65 percent of Vermont members would like to receive long-term services in their home, and the two most common concerns of the older adult population were being able to afford quality long-term care and access to and affordability of health care. The Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living organized this four-year state plan, in accordance with Older Americans Act, to better serve the older adult population throughout the state by helping them achieve the greatest potential for happiness and independence in livable and supportive communities.
VDAIL prepared this plan to serve as a blueprint for what they would like to achieve on behalf of older Vermonters and their caregivers. The plan presents the strategies and resources needed to achieve the following goals: increasing investment in long-term services and supports, increasing consumer flexibility and choice, ensuring easy access to services, and ensuring that services promote healthy and independent living. The fastest growing segment of the Vermont population is the 85+ demographic, and the plan is built to address this fact.
Other key plan highlights include:
- The entire state of Vermont is considered rural. Older adults living in rural areas tend to have lower incomes, be less educated, and have a greater demand for medical, social and financial assistance.
- Nearly 16 percent of the 65+ population in Vermont is living at or below the poverty line, higher than the level found in most states. Additionally, those that live alone are more likely to be living in poverty, and women are more likely to be living in poverty than men.
- Other key challenges facing Vermont include empowering older Vermonters to stay healthy and active, increasing access to quality mental health and substance abuse services, supporting caregivers, increasing participation of the older population in the workforce.
How to Use
This plan provides a lot of information for local officials and planners in terms of challenges and opportunities to planning for the older demographic, as well as issues and trends. Additionally, it provides detailed goals and objectives, as well necessary demographic information. However, although it is acknowledged that the entire state is considered rural, there is little information about how this affects access to necessary services and resources. Older adults living in rural areas have to travel further to access key resources, and yet they have less access to transportation, which leaves many rural older adults with unmet needs.
View full report: Vermont State Plan on Aging – 2011-2014 (PDF – 503 KB)