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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Getting ready for the baby boomers; Regional meetings planned to reveal initial elder readiness survey results

Press Release Date:  Monday, July 23, 2007  
Contact Information:  Lisa Wallace, (502) 564-6786  


FRANKFORT, KY (July 23, 2007) – How ready is your community for the aging baby boomer population? Find out at a series of 15 meetings scheduled around the state.

 

The Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative (KERI) recently completed a survey of Kentuckians to help gauge communities’ preparedness for the “graying of Kentucky.” Initial, area-specific results of that survey will be announced at the meetings, which continue local discussions begun during phase one of KERI. The public is encouraged to attend the meetings, which begin Aug. 7 in Maysville (see entire series schedule below).

Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell will lead the regional meetings, which will focus on the findings of the survey conducted to gauge interest, expectations and perceptions about programs and services for aging residents and aging in general. Results from previous focus groups and community forums also will be shared.

KERI is a partnership among the state Department for Aging and Independent Living (DAIL), the University of Kentucky Graduate Center for Gerontology and the state’s 15 Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living. Governor Ernie Fletcher created DAIL in 2006 to ensure elder Kentuckians have a voice in his administration. The initiative seeks to raise awareness about and encourage communities and families to plan and prepare for the aging of the baby boom generation, people born from 1946-1964.

 Phase one of KERI began in mid-2005 to collect and analyze background information on Kentucky’s baby boomers. Data ranged from the distribution of the aging population across the state to their social, health, economic, spiritual and other characteristics.

Regional focus groups and community forums included a broad array of consumers and providers, public and private interests and advocates. Findings from these meetings were incorporated into a survey sent to 9,600 Kentucky residents earlier this summer.

Reports on regional survey findings also will offer observations and recommendations communities may use to form the framework for development of effective local elder readiness initiatives.

“The first of the baby boomers turned 60 last year, marking the beginning of a rapid shift in Kentucky’s population,” Birdwhistell said. “As the aging population grows, virtually every aspect of life, commerce, labor, the economy and the demands on public services will also change dramatically.”

Kentucky is set to face an even bigger issue than most other states:

  • Between 2000 and 2023, Kentucky will experience a 46 percent increase in the number of residents 85 and older.
  • By 2020 more than 1 million Kentuckians will be older than 60 – about 23 percent of the population.
  • Kentucky currently is ranked 27th in the nation in percentage of the total population older than 65. By 2020, Kentucky will have the 14th largest elder population in the nation.

“KERI’s goal is to help communities assess their readiness to maximize the potential of a rapidly aging population,” Birdwhistell said. “We want to encourage communities to focus on their unique strengths and weaknesses to determine the actions, policies and plans that best meet their specific needs.”

Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative: Phase two meetings schedule


Aug. 7 - Buffalo Trace

6:30 p.m. EDT

Mason Co. Cooperative Extension Service

U.S. Hwy. 68

Maysville

 

Aug. 9 - Bluegrass

10:30 a.m. EDT

Embassy Suites

1801 Newtown Pike

Lexington

 

Aug. 15 - Lincoln Trail

11 a.m. EDT

Pritchard Community Center
404 South Mulberry St
Elizabethtown

 

Aug. 16 - Green River

11:30 a.m. CDT

Area Development District office

3860 U.S. Hwy. 60 W.

Owensboro

 

Aug. 20 - FIVCO

10 a.m. EDT

Parks Place Auditorium

1701 Central Ave.

Ashland

 

Aug. 23 - KIPDA

3 p.m. EDT

Jeffersontown Community Center

10617 Taylorsville Road

Jeffersontown

 

Sept. 10 - Cumberland Valley

10 a.m. EDT

Area Development District office

342 Old Whitley Road

London

 

Sept. 11 - Kentucky River

11 a.m. EDT

Area Development District office

917 Perry Park Road

Hazard

 

Sept. 20 - Big Sandy

11 a.m. EDT

Area Development District office

100 Resource Drive

Prestonsburg

 

Sept. 25 - Gateway

10:30 a.m. EDT

Area Development District office

110 Lake Park Drive

Morehead

 

Sept. 27 - Northern Kentucky

1 p.m. EDT

Area Development District office

22 Spiral Drive

Florence

 

Oct. 1 - Purchase

Noon CDT

Area Development District office

1002 Medical Drive

Mayfield

 

Oct. 2 - Pennyrile

10 a.m. CDT

Area Development District office

300 Hammond Drive

Hopkinsville

 

Oct. 10 - Lake Cumberland

2 p.m. CDT

Area Development District office

2384 Lakeway Drive

Russell Springs

 

Oct. 22 - Barren River

2 p.m. CDT

Area Development District office

177 Graham Ave.

Bowling Green



 

Last Updated 7/26/2007