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State Officials to Unveil Aging Plan

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North Carolina officials will issue a major blueprint this month that maps out how state agencies should strive to meet the needs of the state’s growing older population.

In 2010, 1.2 million North Carolinians were 65-plus—about 13 percent of- the population. That age group is expected to make up 20 percent of the state’s population by 2030, according to state estimates.

Led by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, state officials worked with the private sector— including AARP North Carolina—to formulate the Multisector Plan for Aging. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) issued an order in 2023 directing the agency to develop the plan.

Chris Brandenburg, AARP North Carolina’s manager of federal and state advocacy, says he expects the document to outline a broad range of policies to help make the state more age-friendly—from increasing financial security for older adults to expanding support for caregivers and strengthening nutrition and other health programs.

It will outline “strategies and partnerships that promote aging with optimal health, with choice, with dignity,” he says. Once it’s released, AARP will work with other advocacy groups to press state lawmakers to adopt key recommendations, he adds.

A 2022 survey—conducted by AARP and state agencies—found that 67 percent of residents 45-plus said it was very or extremely important to stay in their communities as they age. Respondents also worried about what would happen if they’re unable to drive and expressed concern about becoming isolated.

Brandenburg says the plan could create momentum for key AARP priorities, such as a bill to create a state-facilitated retirement savings program to make it easier for private-sector workers to contribute to a Roth IRA.

—Mary Dieter

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