On September 8 the Indiana Health Finance Commission heard testimony on the Hoosier Communities for a Lifetime initiative, a proposal designed to help local communities better address the needs of aging residents. The initiative has been proposed by several leading advocacy groups in the state, including AARP Indiana, IU Center on Aging and Community, and Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
State adoption of a statewide community model could help local communities better address basic needs such as housing and mobility, optimize physical and mental health through accessible services, maximize independence for those with frailty or disability, and promote social and civic engagement.
The topic is under consideration by the commission at the request of State Senator Vi Simpson (D-Ellettsville).
Our goal is to provide a community model for enabling citizens to continue to be active, engaged members of their hometown throughout the aging process. – Sen. Vi Simpson
Dr. Philip Stafford, Director of the Center on Aging and Community at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University, offered testimony on the importance of creating a comprehensive plan to move local communities toward sustainable development and quality of life for all ages, including our older Hoosier residents.
1 in 3 Hoosiers will be 55 years or older in 2030 compared to 1 in 5 in 2000. – Dr. Stafford
Dr. Stafford told the commission that, in order to plan communities that will be a good place to grow old, we have to change the current structure of buildings and communities that geographically separate groups of people. By making these considerations in community development, we could move 14,500 people out of institutional care into home and community based care and save $800 million in state funds.
Dr. Stafford also testified that a federal bill, The Liveable Communities Act, is now going through Congress and provides incentives for communities to provide comprehensive planning for livability and community resources. View Dr. Stafford’s full presentation (PDF) >
Mr. Duane Etienne, President Emeritus of CICOA Aging and In Home Solutions, also testified in favor of the Communities for a Lifetime iniative and stressed that all levels of government and advocates need to actively participate in the project.
View footage from the Sept. 8 Health Finance Commission meeting featuring State Senator Vi Simpson, Dr. Stafford, and Mr. Etienne:
Kristen LaEace, CEO of the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging (IAAAA), presented information on how an aging in place initiative has developed in Linton, Indiana, through the successful the collaboration between The Generations Project, Vincennes University, the City of Linton and Greene County.
Watch Kristen LaEace’s testimony in the video below:
The next meeting of the Health Finance Commission will be October 28, 2010 at 10:00 A.M. in the House Chambers of the Statehouse. View the tentative agenda >