With approximately 4.45 million residents age 60 and older, Florida currently ranks first in the nation in the percentage of its citizens who are elders, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Currently, elders make up 24% of the state's population, and this is expected to grow to 35% by 2030. There are more than 1.7 million Floridians age 75 and older, and the population group 100 and older is Florida's fastest growing age group by percentage. With more elders living within our borders than the populations of 17 other states and the District of Columbia combined, Florida's future is linked to the financial, health and physical security of its elder population.
The Department provides most services through its Division of Statewide Community-Based Services, which works through the state's eleven Area Agencies on Aging and local service providers to deliver essential services to a vital segment of the population. The Department also directly administers a wide range of programs, ranging from the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Statewide Public Guardianship Office and Communities for a Lifetime to SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) and CARES (Comprehensive Assessment and Review for Long-Term Care Services).
The Department recognizes that individuals age differently, and therefore the state's residents don't each need the same kind of care or services as others the same age. Some individuals may suffer from chronic conditions that began long before they reached age 60, while others may be able to live their entire lives without ever needing long-term medical or social services. One of the Department's highest priorities is reducing the need for many elders to be placed in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Ultimately, the goal is to efficiently use resources to ensure that the greatest number of elders possible get to spend their golden years living healthy, active and fulfilling lives in their communities.
Mission Statement: To help Florida's elders remain healthy, safe, and independent.
Vision: All Floridians aging with dignity, purpose, and independence.