Johnston County Commissioners have adopted a new Master Aging Plan. The plan from 2016-2020 comes at a crucial time for the county. The population of the United State is aging thanks to the Boomer generation, those born between 1946 and 1965. The Baby Boomers represent the largest portion of the current population. Johnston County will soon have more citizens over age 60 than those under age 17.
According to the plan, 10% of seniors are abused, neglected or exploited annually, 1 in 7 seniors are threatened by hunger, 80% have at least one chronic condition, 50% have at least two, and 5% still remain in the labor force. Thirty-six percent of older women live alone.
The report said that 90% of seniors want to stay in their homes, and 4 out of 5 believe their current home is where they will always live. The annual cost for community care for older adults in their homes ranges from $18,200 to $23,675 while the cost for private pay or Medicaid funded nursing facilities can run from $42,600 to $81,030 annually.
The Johnston County Master Aging Plan establishes goals, objective and strategies to help senior adults.
The six goals include:
1 – To create a culture where older adults and their families are empowered to understand their choices to easily access appropriate services and options for care as they age.
2 – To ensure that all appropriate systems are in place for older adults to have the option to safely age in the place of their choosing.
3 – To establish community based health programs that emphasize the promotion of healthy lifestyles in order to delay declines in health.
4 – To prioritize the safety of older adults by placing emphasis on the prevention of abuse, neglect, and exploitation among the senior population.
5 – To create opportunities for older adults to create futures that reflect their wants and needs as they age, ensuring that they can remain active and engaging in their communities.
6 – To establish a network among county and local agencies that encourages communication and coordination to maximize the achievement of these goals.
Based on the 2010 US Census, 12.3 percent of all Johnston County residents are over age 65.