The Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services has published the Virginia State Plan for Aging Services (October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2023).
The following is an excerpt from the Executive Summary which establishes the importance for the report:
The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), in collaboration with community partners, provides and advocates for resources and services to improve the employment, quality of life, security, and independence of older Virginians, Virginians with disabilities, and their families.
Virginia’s population, like that of the nation, is becoming older and more diverse. Today, an estimated 1,785,382 Virginians (or 21.2 percent) are age 60 years old and older. Twelve percent of Virginia’s population was 65 and older in 2010, but by 2030, almost 20 percent, or just over 1.8 million Virginians will be 65 and over. With an ever increasing range and depth of preferences, languages, and cultural perspectives, the Commonwealth’s current aging population looks drastically different from previous generations. Today’s older adults and those yet to come will certainly weave a beautiful patchwork of diverse elderhood and aging experiences for Virginia.
DARS administers programs and services funded by the OAA, federal grants, and state general funds. DARS provides funding to and oversees 25 AAAs that plan, coordinate, and administer aging services at the community level. In addition, the DARS hosts the State Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman Program and is involved in a variety of collaborative initiatives aimed at helping older adults to remain in their home and community as long as they choose. DARS oversees the Adult Services (AS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) delivery system in the Commonwealth. In Virginia, three statutory committees staffed by DARS also serve in an advisory capacity and one voluntary coalition supports education and access to resources for caregiving.
In providing services to adults age 60 and older and their caregivers, AAAs maintain local service provider networks and relationships with community-based organizations, senior centers, and local governments in support of the OAA and a coordinated service system. AAAs also maintain a comprehensive “No Wrong Door” (NWD) system that coordinates services and assists with the implementation of case management and eligibility requirements.
As Virginia moves into the next four years, the 2020 Census implementation and outcomes will prove invaluable to further identifying and assessing needs, working to meet those needs and provide high quality services, and capitalizing on collaborative initiatives.
Working in partnership with ACL and Virginia’s 25 AAAs, DARS has adopted the following Goals for October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2023:
HEALTH PROMOTION AND ENGAGEMENT: Strengthen services and supports that encourage healthy, active and engaged lives;
INFORMATION, ACCESS, AND COORDINATION SERVICES: Bolster awareness of increased access to quality, person-centered, information services and supports;
ELDER JUSTICE: Promote systems of protection and safety that facilitate dignity and respect; and
CAREGIVING: Improve access to resources and services that support family caregivers.
The full 104 page report outlines the issues, challenges, and opportunities, as well as the strategic direction of the state with goals, objectives, strategies, and measures required for success.