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October 30, 2001
Texas Facing a Wave of Elderly
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the next 25 years, Texas' 65-and-older population will explode, from 2.1 million to over 4.4 million.

The implications of that will be explored by political, academic and business leaders at a policy roundtable set for Nov. 5 in Austin, the state's capital. The one-day event, called "Aging Matters: Is Texas Ready?," is being organized by the Texas Department on Aging.

Participants will discuss the demographic's impact on healthy aging, housing, and the workforce.

"If any social issue could truly be called 'universal,' that issue would be aging," Department on Aging Executive Director Mary Sapp observed. We're all growing older, and for those of us in the Baby Boom generation, it's a reality we can literally feel in our bones.

"At the larger social level, the implications of this massive social change are going to be felt across the board. This year we're focusing on policy issues in healthy aging, the workforce and housing."

Issues for the state policy roundtable have been focused and defined with input from a series of four regional forums held this year in all regions of Texas.

"Our goal is to deliver concrete, practical recommendations that can be achieved within our state's existing means," Sapp said. "Some might call us pollyannas but we truly believe that aging can be something to look forward to, not fear. With a little work in advance, the best-case scenario can be pretty doggoned good. All it takes is a realistic plan, and that's what we're trying to accomplish here."

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