NCIOM (December 3, 2021) -- The North Carolina Institute of Medicine is pleased to announce the launch of a new Task Force on Healthy Aging, to begin meeting in spring 2022. With funding and support from The Duke Endowment, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Divisions of Public Health and Aging and Adult Services, and AARP North Carolina, this task force will focus on policies and practices to support healthy aging in our state.
Between 2017 and 2037, the population aged 65 and over in North Carolina is expected to grow more than 60%. Accounting for growth and inflation, the cost of care for adults over 65 is projected to be $69 billion by 2037. Growth in the older adult population will create challenges for the health care and public health systems. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on social isolation, an issue that has long been known as a risk factor for dementia, heart disease, stroke, premature death of all causes, and mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and suicide in older adults. The pandemic also highlighted challenges that many older adults have in accessing needed services to support healthy nutrition and safe homes. State and local leaders must develop comprehensive solutions for complex health challenges, with priority attention to injury and falls prevention, food and nutrition security, mobility, social isolation, and community needs for aging in place.
“We are excited to partner with leading experts in aging, public health, and community services to identify the necessary strategies for healthy aging in North Carolina. We are confident that this task force will help strengthen our state and local systems and services to provide healthy, supported aging in our state,” says Kathy Colville, NCIOM President and CEO.
Full task force meetings will take place from April 2022 to December 2022, followed by the publication of a final report of actionable recommendations to inform policies to support healthy aging.