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Latest statistics show Chatham is out-aging the state

Posted Saturday, December 20, 2014

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Pittsboro, NC - Based on recently released reports from the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services, Chatham County continues to outpace the state with its aging population. At the same time, state and federal funding for senior services has been declining.

As of 2013, nearly three in ten Chatham residents (29 percent) were age 60 or older, as compared to 20 percent statewide. Between 2013 and 2033, Chatham's older population is projected to grow by 80 percent, compared to North Carolina's increase of 58 percent. Even more dramatic is the projected growth of the population aged 85 and older, because Chatham is expecting a 152 percent increase compared to 88 percent statewide.

By 2018, North Carolina will have more persons aged 60 and older than 17 and younger. Chatham County already does. As of 2013, Chatham had 19,479 residents aged 60 and older, compared to 13,910 who were 17 or younger.

In reflecting on these data, Dennis Streets, director of the Chatham County Council on Aging, remarked, "This certainly is another loud alarm for us to do all we can to address the needs and opportunities of our growing older population. We must have a community commitment to help seniors remain healthy, active and engaged. If there is a call for assistance, we must be able to respond quickly and effectively."

Streets noted that this is an even bigger challenge considering funding trends. "Over the past three years, state and federal funding for the Council's home and community services has actually decreased by 1.5% percent, even as Chatham's older population grew by 25%."

Streets added, "Some of our most vital services, such as in-home aide personal care and medical transportation are at a standstill or even backsliding at a time when increasing numbers of seniors and family caregivers need assistance," said Streets.

For more details from the North Carolina reports, go here. For more information about the work of the Chatham County Council on Aging, visit chathamcouncilonaging.org or call the Council's Senior Centers at 919-542-4512 (Pittsboro) or 919-742-3975 (Siler City).

The Council is in the midst of its holiday appeal. Streets noted, "The safety, well-being and dignity of many seniors depend on what all of us do. Contributions of money and time are vital to our work."

 
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Latest statistics show Chatham is out-aging the state
 
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