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Full 55 and Better Plan
Chesapeake 55 and Better Comprehensive Plan
This Plan was developed with the active participation of many people in our community who had ideas and opinions about what they want their community to be like for persons 55 and over. The population of Chesapeake is growing older due to increasing life spans along with declining birth rates. Also, there is the added impact of the baby boom generation that will contribute significantly to the increase in the older population.
This Plan was created to align our City's priorities for older adults across not only all city departments but also the community. This includes the many community organizations that help older adults within our city. The Plan is an agenda for action, an advocacy tool, and creates focus on the most important issues for the senior population.
Chesapeake...community for a lifetime...where all thrive with security and dignity.
The aging of the population will shape local policy making unlike any other demographic shift witnessed to date. In Chesapeake, between 2012 and 2040, the Welden Cooper Population Center projects a growth of 114.5% in the number of those aged 65 and older compared to an increase of 39.4% in the city's population overall. As shown in the chart below, over the next two decades both the number and the proportion of older adults in Chesapeake are projected to increase significantly.
The senior population is distributed unevenly across the City. With 78% of the population desiring to age in place, this may result in variations in need for services in different neighborhoods.
The Plan has been prepared for all persons in the community, including people 55+ now and in the future, their caregivers and family members, and people who assist with programs and services focused on the senior population. The Plan includes generational differences recognizing that over time those that are young today will be older tomorrow. The Plan is realistic, ambitious in scope but reflecting the realities of economic conditions. Based on local data and information, it is specific to the assets, needs and challenges of Chesapeake.
Any plan this large in scope is designed to lead to strategic implementation. It is intended to focus on fundamental decisions and actions that will shape and guide systems in the future. It is flexible – setting a general direction while acknowledging the need for change over time.
Talking about programs and services needed for persons 55 and over could cover an extremely wide array of topics. In order to be realistic in scope, the Plan focuses on five primary areas of discussion and recommendations:
- Health Care
- Financial Safety and Security
- Quality of Life
As part of the development of this Plan, a survey (The 55+ Survey) was conducted across the community in the spring of 2014. Some of the key findings included:
- 81% rated the quality of life in their neighborhood as excellent or good
- 81% reported that their health was excellent or good
- 77% are concerned about living independently and 72% are concerned about staying in their homes
- They rated volunteer opportunities and public safety as excellent or good
- They rated public transportation and job opportunities as poor
- The top responses for importance in having a high quality of life in the senior years were having financial means, staying mentally active, staying physically active, and staying connected to family and friends
- The top four choices for investment in the community were for affordable medical care, affordable housing, better transportation options, and senior centers
In each area, the Plan presents community oriented action items that when accomplished will provide for the desired programs and services to make our community safe, active, and livable for our growing senior population.
Chesapeake 55 and Better Benchmarks
Persons 55+ will have affordable housing
Continue to develop housing options to increase the availability of affordable housing
- HOW MEASURED
Number of persons 65+ who pay more than 30% of their income for housing
In 2012 the number and percent of persons 60 + who pay more than 30% of their income towards housing was 35.5% for homeowners and 63.9% for renters
2012 Census Bureau American Community Survey
Persons 55+ will have access to transportation
Continue to develop affordable and accessible transportation
- HOW MEASURED
Number of transportation options, i.e. number bus stops, ride share programs, non-profit rides, etc.
Baseline number of transportation options TBD
An inventory will need to be made from resource information files
Persons 55+ maintain optimal health
Continue to develop programs to reduce the number of persons with chronic conditions
- HOW MEASURED
Rate of emergency department visits for persons 65+ with chronic conditions
Chesapeake data TBD; CDC baseline national data for emergency visits:
- 65+ 50.0 visits/100/yr
- 65- 74 38.7 visits/100/yr
- 75+ visits/100/yr
Data to be developed by Chesapeake Regional Medical Center
Financial Safety and Security
Persons 55+ are free of financial crime
Continue to develop programs and services to prevent crimes against seniors
- HOW MEASURED
Number of financial crimes against persons 55+
In 2013 the rate of financial crimes against persons 65+ was 6.7/1,000 population
City of Chesapeake Police Department Report
Quality of Life
Persons 55+ enjoy quality of life
Continue to develop programs and services that support and enhance a livable community
- HOW MEASURED
Quality of Life Index
Using the Developing, Sustaining, and Revitalizing categories to categorize these attributes, the analysis delineated 17 Developing NSAs, 80 Sustaining NSAs, and 20 Revitalizing NSAs.
City of Chesapeake Quality of Life Report to be updated in October 2014