The population of Americans age 60 and older is expected to reach 75.8 million by the end of the decade. Furthermore, the 85+ age cohort is projected to reach 6.6 million by 2020. The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) partnered with Scripps Gerontology Center to conduct a survey intended to determine the capability and readiness of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) to meet the needs of America’s rapidly growing older adult population.
This report reflects the research findings of the survey conducted on 629 AAAs as related to the current services provided by AAAs, how AAAs are addressing the budget crisis, and how AAAs are improving service delivery systems to accommodate the changing needs of older Americans. Health care reform efforts are providing new opportunities for AAAs to provide assistance to older adults by creating a partnership among AAAs and the health care industry to establish an integrated care system for seniors.
Other report highlights include:
- Over 80 percent of AAAs are involved in implementing the Chronic Disease Self-Management program that focuses on health conditions such as heart conditions, arthritis, and diabetes. Despite financial obstacles, AAAs are making significant advances in evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs.
- AAAs collaborate with public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community groups to develop livable communities where older adults have the ability to comfortably age in place. Nearly 55 percent of AAAs assist older adults in transitioning back to community living from institutional placement.
- The vast majority of AAAs are involved in the Family Caregiver Support Program that offers consumer-directed options to older adults, empowering them to manage their own care and develop their own service plan.
How to Use
The report offers a high-level of statistical data regarding AAA’s involvement in improving the quality of life for the nation’s rapidly increasing older adult population. Planners, community leaders, and local officials can use this report to gain an understanding of the existing programs AAAs offer and the strategies AAAs will implement to achieve their overarching goal of allowing every older American to age in place with independence and dignity. The report is a useful resource for any planner or local official seeking assistance to understand better the impact of the nation’s changing demographics and how to accommodate the changing needs of the growing older adult population.