State lawmakers focus on issues affecting Delaware’s aging population


State lawmakers are examining the issues facing Delaware’s aging population and seeking solutions.

As a retirement hotspot, Delaware’s population ages over the years.

State lawmakers are anticipating the problems an aging population will bring and are bringing together experts for their in-place aging working group, which first met last week.

Spearheading the effort is State Senator Spiros Mantzavinos, who says adults who may be independent enough to live in their own homes, but still need almost daily assistance, are a group that has been overlooked.

“When I’ve talked to a lot of smart people like those who are on this task force, people seem bewildered when they get to this point with a parent,” Mantzavinos said. “And it was before that time that there might be an installation involved.”

And these aging people will continue to have a greater effect on the overall economy, as their homes are not put on the market and the job market continues to see more retirements.

And St. Francis Healthcare Executive Director Amy Milligan says the nursing workforce for aging Delawarens is not strong enough.

“It’s tough to hire people right now, and I think it’s largely post-pandemic,” Milligan said. “But I really think that as a state we need health care and medical providers anyway – but when you really expand your population to include the elderly, to keep them there, you will need much more robust options than I think. “

Mantzavinos says the task force will focus on specific areas: racial and health equity, the 21st century healthcare workforce, tackling loneliness and the financial and legal barriers to aging in place.

The Aging in Place group will meet frequently this year to come up with legislative solutions for consideration in January.

Roman Battaglia is a member of the corps with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms.

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