Between 2005 and 2030, Delaware’s 65+ population is expected to increase by 106 percent. Beyond preparing for the current aging population in Delaware, the state has also experienced a great deal of senior migration from other states. And for those older adults not living in long-term care facilities, 18 percent of residents age 65+ need some sort of assistance with everyday activities. Due to this expected growth and these support needs, Delaware established the Long-Term Care Housing Task Force, which included a variety of stakeholders involved in the Delaware long-term care arena, including consumers, to examine the housing and care needs of the older adult population. This report is a summary of the findings and observations.
While the overall goal of the task force was to examine current and future housing and care needs for the growing senior demographic in Delaware, there were a number of specific areas of focus related to long-term supports and services that were uncovered from secondary research. Those areas included the need for long-term care services for individuals that require assistance, the lack of available affordable and accessible housing for individuals who desire to age in place, and the need for access to proper transportation for individuals to remain independent.
Beyond these focus areas, other report findings include:
- An AARP survey conducted with Delaware residents age 35+ uncovered that half of participants had little to no confidence in being able to afford long-term care for themselves or a family member, and that around 40 percent were hoping to rely on government programs and 30 percent were planning to use long-term care insurance.
- While a majority of residents were aware that long-term care costs are expensive, and becoming increasingly more expensive, few had any idea who pays for them.
- For those who did not plan on getting a long-term care policy, most were unsure or had not considered how they would pay for care should the need arise.
How to Use
The report makes clear that long-term care initiatives are something all states should be considering. Additionally, it points out that people are not seeking information about long-term care until they are faced with the need. For this reason, local officials should both consider the need for a similar type of task force to identify the housing and care needs of residents in their area, and consider ways to educate consumers on the importance of planning for long-term care in advance. This report also discusses public financing options utilized in other states and discusses the importance of collaborating across state and local governments to tackle efforts related to community design, housing, transportation and workforce development.