PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Lt. Governor McKee joined members of the Aging in Community Subcommittee of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council this afternoon for the release of their report on aging in Rhode Island. The event was also attended by Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Representative Eileen Naughton, Senator Maryellen Goodwin, Director of Elderly Affairs, Charles Fogarty and other elected officials.
The report is a response to the Aging in Community Act of 2014 sponsored by Senator Maryellen Goodwin and Representative Christopher Blazejewski. The Act recognized the significant projected growth of the state’s older population and the need to develop strategies to assist seniors in the community.
Since 2014, the Subcommittee has worked to gather information on elements that contribute to successful “Aging in Community.”
Today, the report provides demographic data on the state’s older population, inventories current services and resources, identifies challenges faced by seniors and recommends strategies to promote successful aging in community in nine issue areas: Information and Communication, Community Engagement, Transportation, Economic Security, Food Security and Nutrition, Housing, Supports at Home, Healthcare Access and Open Spaces/Public Buildings.
The Subcommittee’s findings are the result of interviews held with aging service providers, an examination of age-friendly best practices in other states and ten focus groups conducted with seniors from across Rhode Island. Funding for the focus groups was partially provided by a grant from the Division of Elderly Affairs under the Older Americans Act.
The Aging in Community Subcommittee is chaired by Maureen Maigret, Vice Chair of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council, and former Director of the Department of Elderly Affairs. The subcommittee’s membership includes staff from Rhode Island College, Brown University and the University of Rhode Island, representatives from state agencies, members of the senior community, and senior service providers.
“I applaud the members of the Subcommittee for their dedication to creating a clear, comprehensive report on aging that can be a catalyst for change in our state. Their work recognizes that Rhode Island’s older population is growing dramatically and that we must direct public policy to help them remain active and in their homes,” said Lt. Governor McKee. I look forward to supporting the strategies detailed in the Subcommittee’s report to help build stronger, healthier communities for all Rhode Islanders.”
“I am pleased to submit this report and thank the members of the Subcommittee for contributing their time in preparing it. The report contains some of the most inclusive data available on our state’s older population, what challenges they face and where we have gaps in services and resources,” said Maureen Maigret. “I hope the report’s recommended strategies will serve as a useful guide to direct state aging.”
With the support of a grant from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the work of the Subcommittee will continue with the formation of a coalition to build an “Age-Friendly Rhode Island.”