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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

Date: April 12, 2012


NEW CASTLE (April 12, 2012) - The Delaware Health and Social Services' Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities will seek public comment on its proposed State Plan on Aging covering October 2012 through September 2015.

The state plan has been developed to meet requirements under Title III and Title VII of the Older Americans Act. The titles provide funding for a variety of programs and services for older Delawareans and their caregivers including supportive services; nutrition programs; disease prevention and health promotion initiatives; elder rights protection activities; and caregiver support programs.

A copy of the draft plan may be obtained by following the links on the division's website

The state also has scheduled three hearings, one in each county, to provide an opportunity for the public to offer comments and suggestions on the plan. The schedule is:

The older population in Delaware, as in the rest of the nation, is growing quickly. Currently, about one in five Delawareans is 60 or older. By 2020, that age group will make up one-fourth of the state's population, or more than 250,000 people. That same year, the population consisting of the "oldest old" (age 85 and older) is projected to have grown by 147.5 percent since 2000.

"As Delaware's aging population grows, so will the demand for vital state services," Gov. Jack Markell said. "It is important to have the input of as many Delawareans as possible so we tailor these services to meet the needs of our seniors."

The Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities will use the strategies in the State Plan on Aging to address the growing and changing needs of older Delawareans and persons with disabilities.

"Consistently, AARP studies show that 90 percent of individuals 65 and older want to age in their own homes," DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf said. "In Delaware, we must support this growing population by improving their ability to access important services. Supporting the expansion of home - and community - based services will allow seniors and adults with disabilities to achieve a high quality of life, while also keeping them fully engaged in their communities."

The 2012-2015 State Plan on Aging focuses on such initiatives as:

For more information about the plan and the public hearings, go to or contact Denise Weeks-Tappan, planning supervisor in the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities, at (302) 255-9360.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.