Officials meet to address Harford's aging population

On April 16, leaders from county and state agencies, the court system and elected officials met for a briefing regarding the increasing number of seniors in Harford County, and the community support families need to care for older family members.

Harford County Executive David R. Craig spearheaded the Aging Summit, focusing on the needs of vulnerable senior adults in Harford County. The summit was held in partnership with the Harford County State Attorney Joe Cassilly and the Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane.

"Families often call on us when they are in crisis," Craig said in a press release. "It's when a sudden disability has happened or a senior can no longer live alone that we are called upon for help. When families are in need, making it difficult to find the assistance and resources they need is not helpful," Craig continued.

To gain an overall understanding of the situation in Harford County, demographic information was presented showing 18 percent of the county's population is 60 years and older, with another 16,415 individuals turning 60 prior to 2015. During the past five years, the senior population age 65 and over has only increased slightly, but the percent of projected increase from 2000 to 2015 is 68 percent. The following areas of the county have had over a 50 percent increase in senior citizens over the last 10 years: Churchville, 51.8 percent; Jarrettsville, 55.1 percent; Forest Hill, 62.6 percent; and the Emmorton, 75.8 percent.

"With the population of seniors in Harford County rising, older citizens are making ever growing contributions to the quality of life in our communities. We too must be there for them and their families when they are in need of additional support, awareness and access to information," Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti said.

Lisanti announced she would introduce legislation to form a task force to develop a strategic plan to address the growing population of seniors and the support the community will need to assist families.

Anyone wishing for additional information on services for seniors should contact the Harford County Office on Aging, 410-638-3303.

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