50+ Action Plan: Service Capacity
Planning is crucial to support the increased demand for specialized services for older adults.
Fairfax County and its partners in the community have developed a strong range of streamlined services to meet the growing needs of older adults. Nevertheless, many services are at or nearing capacity. Even though we take care of ourselves, take care of our loved ones, and find private options, it is anticipated that the increasing numbers of older adults will strain the community safety net.
Currently, Fairfax County spends less than 2 percent of its budget on specialized services for seniors (4.2 percent if school funding is excluded). Of the $10.7 million in funds awarded by the Consolidated Community Funding Pool in 2007, about $144,000 was targeted specifically to services for seniors.
Of the $300,000 in the Fairfax County Incentive Fund, about half of the funds are for senior focused services. The $500,000 Care Fund, not yet awarded, will be used to leverage funding for affordable assisted living. A number of Beacon Hill Village type programs (neighborhood groups developing service networks to make life easier and increase the independence of their residents) are being developed throughout the county. We will be learning from these.
Fairfax County’s approach to services is consistent with the goals of the landmark federal Older Americans Act to keep older adults as independent as possible through good community planning and community involvement. In the spirit of this act, we strive to enhance the lives of our residents (not to reduce the need for services); support informal caregivers of older adults through information, education, and respite care; identify encourage, and incentivize the development of needed services within the community; and develop those services not otherwise available.
Increase availability of seed grants through corporate partnerships for
the development of needed services by non-profits or small
- Explore and promote appropriate community networking projects.