RD353 - Virginia State Plan for Aging Services – October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2023

Executive Summary:

The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), in collaboration with community partners, provides and advocates for resources and services to improve the employment, quality of life, security, and independence of older Virginians, Virginians with disabilities, and their families.

In accordance with the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA), as amended, and pursuant to § 51.5-136 of the Code of Virginia, DARS, as the designated state unit on aging (SUA), is mandated to submit a state plan on aging services to the U.S. Administration on Community Living (ACL), the Governor and the Virginia General Assembly. DARS developed the State Plan for Aging Services in collaboration with the state’s aging network, including older adults who receive services, caregivers of individuals of all ages, DARS Advisory Boards, the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), other state agencies, and stakeholders.

Virginia’s population, like that of the nation, is becoming older and more diverse. Today, an estimated 1,785,382 Virginians (or 21.2 percent) are age 60 years old and older. Twelve percent of Virginia’s population was 65 and older in 2010, but by 2030, almost 20 percent, or just over 1.8 million Virginians will be 65 and over. With an ever increasing range and depth of preferences, languages, and cultural perspectives, the Commonwealth’s current aging population looks drastically different from previous generations. Today’s older adults and those yet to come will certainly weave a beautiful patchwork of diverse elderhood and aging experiences for Virginia.

DARS administers programs and services funded by the OAA, federal grants, and state general funds. DARS provides funding to and oversees 25 AAAs that plan, coordinate, and administer aging services at the community level. In addition, the DARS hosts the State Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman Program and is involved in a variety of collaborative initiatives aimed at helping older adults to remain in their home and community as long as they choose. DARS oversees the Adult Services (AS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) delivery system in the Commonwealth. In Virginia, three statutory committees staffed by DARS also serve in an advisory capacity and one voluntary coalition supports education and access to resources for caregiving.

In providing services to adults age 60 and older and their caregivers, AAAs maintain local service provider networks and relationships with community-based organizations, senior centers, and local governments in support of the OAA and a coordinated service system. AAAs also maintain a comprehensive “No Wrong Door" (NWD) system that coordinates services and assists with the implementation of case management and eligibility requirements.

With about $40 million in federal funding during Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2018 and $19 million in state general funds for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2018 for aging services, DARS is committed monitoring and overseeing the quality and fidelity of aging programs. The business model of the aging network and AAAs is changing rapidly, and key partners in Virginia are already evaluating these changes to identify new opportunities and challenges. DARS and aging partners continue to seek ways to grow services through ACL grants and grants from other federal agencies.

As Virginia moves into the next four years, the 2020 Census implementation and outcomes will prove invaluable to further identifying and assessing needs, working to meet those needs and provide high quality
services, and capitalizing on collaborative initiatives.

Working in partnership with ACL and Virginia’s 25 AAAs, DARS has adopted the following Goals for October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2023:


Strengthen services and supports that encourage healthy, active and engaged lives;


Bolster awareness of increased access to quality, person-centered, information services and supports;


Promote systems of protection and safety that facilitate dignity and respect; and


Improve access to resources and services that support family caregivers.