More than 100 participants attended the 2019 Aging Services Community Forum on Monday, Oct. 21, to discuss and address on how to increase and improve services to Johnson County’s rapidly growing population of older adults.
Sponsored by the Johnson County Commission on Aging, the forum took place at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. Along with members of COA, Board of County Commissioners and county management, attendees presented a broad range of knowledge and experience related to aging services.
According to Dan Goodman, director of the Johnson County Area Agency on Aging, the older adult population of 60 and older in Johnson County is expected to total approximately 130,000 by 2020 as the total county population reaches 623,000. A decade later, the older population is projected at 171,000 or 24% of the county’s total population estimated at 703,000.
The financial gap for older adults is widening, Goodman noted. The average income of retirees currently is $23,007. The basic cost for housing, transportation, healthcare, food, personal insurance and entertainment averages $36,816. By 2030, 13-15% of older adults in the 60-plus population will be living at or below the poverty level. That’s 21,000 to 26,000 older adults. In 2019, AAA served 9,625 older residents, less than 9% of the older adult population.
The forum participants brainstormed ideas and suggestions on four areas regarding future aging needs and community focus, including:
- In-Home Support and Services
- Public awareness and visibility of AAA
Recommendations from the forum will become a part of the Johnson County Aging Services Master Plan for 2020-2030 that will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners for review and consideration on future programs and services to assist older adults and improve their lives in the decade ahead. Completion of the master plan is expected in the first half of 2020.