Master Aging Plan
Connect, Create & Empower
New Hanover County Senior Resource Center has developed a five-year Master Aging Plan (MAP) that will help shape the resources and services for older adults who have a wide range of needs, now and into the future. This is the first Master Aging Plan for New Hanover County and the first in the four-county region.
The Master Aging Plan will help ensure New Hanover County has a comprehensive and coordinated approach that supports and fosters lifelong community engagement and well-being. The plan will:
- Connect our older adults with the community and with one another, ensuring they have the right resources at the right time
- Create a guide that is inclusive, diverse, age-friendly, and strategic that offers more opportunities for our older adults to create their own journey and live well; and
- Empower our residents to contribute to the community, stay active, and thrive here in New Hanover County.
The development of the five-year MAP kicked off in October of 2020 with a community-wide survey that captured information on the needs and desires of residents and caregivers in New Hanover County. It was followed by public meetings for community members to provide feedback, as well as targeted interviews and focus groups with community stakeholders and residents.
The Master Aging Plan will be New Hanover County’s “roadmap” to deliver comprehensive and coordinated aging services in the years to come. It will be a living, breathing plan that will guide the resources provided by the county to support and foster lifelong community engagement and wellbeing. It will also serve as a foundation for building an even more involved aging coalition in the community.
Over the next five years, the Senior Resource Center and a collaborative group of community partners will implement strategies and track the progress of the plan.
Connect our older adults with the community and with one another, ensuring they have the right resources at the right time.
In addition to the survey, the Senior Resource Center conducted targeted interviews with community stakeholders and held focus groups with community members, in order to better understand and assess the community’s needs.
In the fall and winter of 2020 to 2021, stakeholders also participated in a community kick-off event, workgroup meetings, and periodic MAP Leadership and Steering Committee meetings. Community groups and members of the public joined to learn about the survey and community needs assessment and how to engage others to participate. View the recorded kick-off meeting on YouTube.
The inclusion of these diverse stakeholders in developing the MAP is essential to ensuring that the plan meets the needs of a growing older adult population. Without the participation of a variety of community members and organizations, an integrated county-wide plan will not be successful. By working together this plan will lead to a forward-thinking approach so that older adults can have a healthier future in New Hanover County.
More community engagement opportunities and virtual meetings will happen throughout the planning process, so stay tuned for updates. If you are interested in participating in future workgroups to create action steps for New Hanover County’s Master Aging Plan, please reach out to 910-798-6445 or email Andrew Zeldin for more information.
Create a guide that is inclusive, diverse, age-friendly, and strategic that offers more opportunities for our older adults to create their own journey and live well.
With the community needs assessment and survey complete, the Senior Resource Center began working with the Master Aging Plan Leadership Committee and working groups to develop action plans that address each identified priority area.
That work, over several months, is compiled into a five-year Master Aging Plan that was adopted by the Board of Commissioners on Monday, May 17, 2021.
The Master Aging Plan will be New Hanover County’s “roadmap” to deliver comprehensive and coordinated aging services in the years to come. It will be a living, breathing plan that will guide the resources provided by the county to support and foster lifelong community engagement and well-being. It will also serve as a foundation for building an even more involved aging coalition in the community.
You can review the Adopted Five-Year MAP (PDF) with goals, objectives, strategies, and indicators for fiscal years 2021 to 2026.
Empower our residents to contribute to the community, stay active, and thrive here in New Hanover County
“The New Hanover County Senior Resource Center’s Master Aging Plan is the first of its kind for the county and in the entire Cape Fear region. I am incredibly proud to see that our staff is leading the way to ensure that older and aging adults in our community have the support they need and deserve. I am passionate about this plan and the immeasurable value it will bring - security, health, and wellbeing for our residents now and into the future.”
- New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair, Julia Olson-Boseman.
“Every single one of us is aging, and the purpose of this survey and community assessment is to better understand what our residents need to age well here in New Hanover County. What do they need to stay active, remain healthy, be connected, and feel supported? We want to know so we can create an aging plan that guides the county and makes sure our community has the right programs and services to serve seniors in the years to come.”
- Senior Resource Center Director, Amber Smith.
The following goals are New Hanover County’s guiding principles in serving our older adult population, as outlined in the Master Aging Plan.
Diverse and accessible opportunities for older adults and their caregivers to participate and be engaged in their community.
- Objective 1.1: Enhance and expand learning opportunities for the aging population by proving access to social, physical, and mental engagement.
- Objective 1.2: Improve communication through widespread contact and partnerships.
Older adults are known as valuable members and resources of the community.
- Objective 2.1: Improve and enhance inclusive services for underserved communities.
Older adults are able to access transportation options for daily needs.
- Objective 3.1: Establish transportation options that are safe, reliable, age-friendly, and affordable.
- Objective 3.2: Ensure transportation options meet the needs of aging adults.
A variety of affordable, quality housing options are located in areas that are easily accessible to necessary resources and services for daily living.
- Objective 4.1: Preserve existing housing for aging-in-place.
- Objective 4.2: Increase the variety and number of affordable housing options.
- Objective 4.3: Build affordable housing communities near necessary services & resources.
- Objective 4.4: Develop alternative housing options.
Enhanced ADA-compliant, age-friendly, outdoor spaces are accessible, safe, walkable, and have convenient access to parking, benches, restrooms, and technology.
- Objective 5.1: Provide diversified options that improve neighborhood connectivity and accessibility.
- Objective 5.2: Create universally designed spaces that improves opportunities for older adults to participate in activities in public places.
- Objective 5.3: Implement regular programmed activities and provide fixed amenities for older adults in public spaces.
Necessary health and wellness services available, accessible, culturally appropriate, and affordable to all.
- Objective 6.1: Expand access to community based health services for seniors.
- Objective 6.2: Improve collaboration with medical providers including primary care and specialty providers, health system, Senior Resource Center, Area Agency on Aging, other community partners, and free clinics.
- Objective 6.3: Provide behavioral health support and programming to older adults and their caregivers.
- Objective 6.4: Expand services to help older adults age in their homes and communities.
- Objective 6.5: Address the problem of food insecurity and malnutrition among older adults.
- Objective 6.6: Support planning and education for and fulfillment of individual goals in all stages of aging process.
Older adults, their families, and other consumers in New Hanover County are empowered to make informed decisions and to easily access available services and supports.
- Objective 7.1: Increase the accessibility of information about resources, programs, and services for older adults in New Hanover County.
- Objective 7.2: Decrease the digital divide in New Hanover County.
- Objective 7.3: Provide general information related to finances, long-term care insurance, and estate planning to older adults within New Hanover County.
Older adults who are seeking paid employment, meaningful volunteer experience, and lifelong learning and education are connected with a diverse array of opportunities.
- Objective 8.1: Establish effective pathways for older adults, and the people that serve them, to secure fairly compensated employment, including traditional and alternative options.
- Objective 8.2: Promote the value of an experienced workforce to local employers.
- Objective 8.3: Expand enriching volunteer opportunities for older adults.
- Objective 8.4: Promote increased opportunities for education and professional training in aging issues relevant to New Hanover County.