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2015 Strategic Plan for Aging in Tompkins County

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2015 Strategic Plan for Aging in Tompkins County

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Tompkins County Office for the Aging has compiled its 2015 Strategic Plan for Aging in Tompkins County, offering rich information about local aging related issues.  The data will be used to inform decision making on aging services, not only by the Office for the Aging, but by public and private entities, and community groups.

The 2015 Strategic Plan is based on the following efforts of the Office for the Aging: the 2012 Needs Assessment of the 60+ Population in Tompkins County, the 2014 Housing Needs/Preferences Survey, and a series of eight Consensus Conferences with input from older adults and community stakeholders on the following topic areas: 1) Civic Engagement, Volunteerism and Education; 2) Financial Exploitation and Elder Abuse; 3) Financial Security and Employment; 4) Housing; 5) Long Term Care; 6) Medical Care; 7) Mental Health; and 8) Transportation.  Through this process, 145 participants identified our community’s strengths, issues/needs and recommendations for action.

Among the key findings of the 2015 Strategic Plan are the following:

  • TompkinsCounty’s older adult population is growing and will continue to grow until approximately 2040.  At the same time the younger generations will be relatively smaller in size, exacerbating workforce and caregiving issues.
  • The presence of higher educational institutions are assets to our community, offering research and programming in gerontology as well as students actively engaged with older adults as volunteers and in internships.
  • TompkinsCountyhas a vast array of well-networked human service agencies offering assistance to older adults and their families.
  • Many of today’s 60+ population do not self-identify as “senior citizens” and therefore new methods of public information and outreach are needed.
  • There is a lack of transportation for people of all ages, including elders and especially in rural areas.  Same day transportation to regional medical centers as well as after hours and weekend transportation are all needed.
  • There is a lack of affordable housing for people of all ages.
  • The current medical, mental health and long term care systems are fractured, difficult to navigate and stretched thin in terms of resources.  The demands on the system will increase as Baby Boomers age.  New paradigms of delivery must be considered and funding for existing core services that support the aging population must be enhanced to meet current and future demand.

In addition, the Office for the Aging plans to work with the County and City of Ithaca to designate Tompkins County and Ithaca as an “Age Friendly Community” with the World Health Organization. This effort will formally engage older adults community stakeholders in a continuous improvement process in relation to aging issues.

The 2015 Strategic Plan for Aging and other supporting documents are available on the Office for the Aging’s website at