“GrayShore” is a
BEACON initiative that aims to educate regional service providers
and decision makers about our aging population: both the
demographic realities and the impact that these demographics will
have on regional services, economy, and workforce.
In the United
States, the elderly are the fastest growing segment of the
population, increasing almost three times as rapidly as rest of
general population. The Eastern Shore is aging even more
dramatically, thanks to the continued out-migration of our youth
and in-migration of retirees attracted to our climate and
amenities. In Worcester County, it is estimated at 1/3 of
the total population will be 65 and over by 2030.
The magnitude and
imminence of this “elderly boom” threatens our region’s ability to
ensure that seniors have access to affordable and appropriate:
Other services that help maintain independence.
It will also
have huge implications for our economy and labor market, as we
adjust to the reality of aging consumers and workers.
neither the nation nor the region is prepared for this “graying
phenomenon.” Resources and services for the elderly are not
only inadequate, but they are not structured to reflect the
realities of 21st century aging (e.g., seniors’
extended need for assisted living and medical care).
realities, BEACON is committed to working with its partners,
including MAC, Inc., the Community Foundation of the Eastern
Shore, and Worcester County Department of Economic Development, to
help our region stay proactive on this issue. Planning
next steps include:
findings in as many public forums as possible, including a
proposed summit in fall 2004.
Creating a “GrayShore” Steering Committee that will help to develop regional
priorities and a collaborative action plan on this
“Community Scorecard” to clearly document our aging-related
needs and assess our collective progress in meeting those
makers who are not yet fully aware of the implications of “the
graying of Delmarva.”
Exploring funding for further study
and creative approaches to the “Graying Shore,” including continued coalition-building, research, and innovative pilot